Fast Track Reactivation of Jacobina Mine

CIM Vancouver 2006
Abstract This paper will detail the fast track opening of the Jacobina Gold Mine located in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. The Jacobina Mine owned and operated by Canadian mining company Yamana Gold Inc., was mechanized and reactivated over the course of 2004 and 2005. Success was achieved by implementing new management style, installing new equipment and establishing new mining and milling methods. This paper will focus on the company’s accomplishment in achieving permitting, mechanization and reactivation of the mine in less than one year to become the largest underground mining operation in Brazil and one of the lowest cost underground gold mines in Brazil.
After being closed for six years, the mill facilities at the Jacobina Mine were re-commissioned in the first quarter of 2005 and commercial production was declared as of July 1, 2005. The mine now operates at a production capacity of 130,000 tonnes per month and at a gold production rate of 100,000 ounces of gold per annum. In 1998, the Jacobina Mine was closed due to high costs and low gold prices. The property was purchased in 2002 and after a comprehensive evaluation of the mining method, management style, and processing capacity of the mine. It was determined that with appropriate changes the Jacobina Mine could be re-opened as a mechanized and efficient operation. Starting in 2004 the permitting process was started in parallel with equipment selection, new workforce was hired and trained, and by March of 2005, the first gold had been poured. By August 2005 the Jacobina Mine became the largest underground mine in Brazil in terms of production.
By working in close cooperation with the local, state, and federal governments, as well as by hiring key management staff and fast tracking the mine and plant construction, the Jacobina Mine achieved the status of being the largest underground mining operation in Brazil and one of the lowest grade underground mines in the world.
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Vancouver 2006