We have just completed another swap-out of old equipment for newer, heavier duty equipment to further enhance the operations at the Clavo Rico mine. This latest upgrade of our equipment was the installation of the heavy-duty agglomerator pictured below.
The agglomerator is an important part of the crushing and leaching process. When we crush the ore to a 3/8 inch diameter for the most complete and quickest extraction of gold from the ore, dust or dirt particles are formed that would impede the flow and saturation of the leach solution to the crushed ore. To create pebbles the optimum size of 3/8 inch, all of the crushed ore and dirt particles pass through the agglomerator and are mixed with cement and water. As the barrel spins it creates the pebble-sized ore that then allows the leaching fluid to flow evenly over the pad to reach all of the gold bearing pebbles, saturating them and extracting the gold for further processing.
This has always been a vital link in the recovery process, as all ore placed the recovery field must pass through the agglomerator. Our first agglomerator was not large enough to accommodate our increased production, and then our larger agglomerator was not heavy enough to accomplish the job required without stress to the walls, so we contracted for a new unit to be produced of heavier-duty metals. This new agglomerator has the strength and the durability required to handle in excess of the 500 tons of the ore per day that comes from our mine to meet the production goal of 1,000 ounces of gold per month.
Our first shipment of gold has been made from the plant with the aid of the new crushing operation, so we are back in full production. We continue to refine the production process from beginning to end and will give periodic updates to let you know the progress made.
CLAVO RICO MANAGEMENT