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Molejon Gold Mine

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The Molejon Gold Mine is an open-pit gold mining project located 75 miles (120 km) west of Panama City, just off the coast of the Caribbean. The project, which began in September 2005, is owned by Petaquilla Minerals. Petaquilla came to an agreement with Teck Cominco Ltd., and Inmet Mining to begin mining the open pit. The capital cost amounted to $34 million and was raised with equity of $17.56 million and a lease of $15.8 million worth of equipment.

The project is still being mined and is expected to gross less than $200 per ounce for 2008. Approximately 300 people are employed at the Molejon Gold Project.[1]

Contents

[edit] Construction History

Prior to the mining of Molejon, Petaquilla Minerals obtained approval from the government to develop the mine in a series of phases, due to start in September 2005. Once this approval was granted, the partners involved agreed to put their interest into Petaquilla Minerals in a bid to mine the pit.

The Molejon is made up of geologic characteristics such as epithermal reserves. The estimated measurement of this resource amounts to 593,327 ounces (16.8 million g), an indicated resource of 317,696 ounces (9 million g). Inferred resource comes to 458,502 ounces (13 million g) at an average grade of 0.665 g/t.

The pit is mined as an open pit, which means that most of the ore is extracted from the surface of the ground. Some excavation is required and a bench or ledge is created by the removal of overburden. Removing the overburden allows miners to strip away layers of the ground’s surface, usually with the help of stripping shovels or other types of excavation equipment. Once the overburden is removed, the ore is exposed and can be extracted. Both the overburden and ore is cut into manageable bits and loaded by excavators into Caterpillar and Terex dump trucks or other types of haul trucks.[2] The ore is taken to the TechProMin processing plant where it is crushed and ground into smaller pieces by Metso crushers and Kennedy Van Saun ball mills. [3]

It was anticipated that production of the mine would bring in 2,200 tons per day, with the help of three ball mills and a carbon-in-pulp processing plant. This is expected to increase to 5,000 tons per day with the help of a SAG mill.[4]

[edit] Equipment Used

[edit] Refurbishment/Recent Projects/Renovations

On March 19, 2008, Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. announced Mr. Gaston A. Araya as the new Construction and Production manager for the Molejon Gold Mine. [5]

[edit] References

  1. Molejon Gold Project, Panama. Mining-Technology.com, 2008-09-25.
  2. Open Pit Surface Mine. Mine-Engineer.com, 2008-09-25.
  3. Molejon Gold Project, Panama. Mining-Technology.com, 2008-09-25.
  4. Official Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. website
  5. Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. Retains Manager for Molejon Gold Mine. Reuters.com, March, 2008. (accessed: 2008-09-25)