GE Dust Control Solution Helps La Coipa Gold Mine In Chile’s High Desert Save Nearly 12 Million Gallons of Water Annually

Posted: Monday 7th June 2010

Compania Minera Mantos de Oro Honored with GE ecomagination Leadership Award for Reduced Water Use, Operational Savings and Improved Safety Conditions, Benefiting One of the Most Water-Stressed Areas of Chile.

The Kinross-La Coipa gold mine of Compania Minera Mantos de Oro, a subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corporation (TSX: K) (NYSE: KGC), has cut the amount of water used for dust control by nearly two thirds while simultaneously reducing dust emissions by more than half, with help from GE (NYSE: GE). As a result, the mine conserves some 12 million gallons of water annually, reducing the impact in a highly water-stressed area of Chile. The company also reduced operating expenses by $54,000 and improved overall safety conditions.

Located about 1,000 kilometers north of Santiago and 140 kilometers northeast of Copiapo, the open-pit mine sits in the Atacama Desert, one of the world’s driest. Mining is the major economic activity in the region, accounting for more than 83 percent of regional exports and nearly half of regional gross domestic product. While the region’s mining industry contributes significantly to Chile’s position as a leading mining nation, it also consumes 70 percent of the region’s water, therefore water conservation is critical.

“Our use of GE’s dust control solution has led to great operational and safety benefits and significant cost savings,” said Rolando Cubillos, mine operations manager, Kinross-La Coipa. “The reduction in water use has been significant, enabling us to positively contribute to water conservation efforts in the mining region of Atacama. We will continue to explore water reuse and conservation strategies as part of our commitment to the environment and our community.”

GE has awarded Compania Minera Mantos de Oro an ecomagination Leadership Award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water consumption and fugitive dust emissions at Kinross-La Coipa, brought about with the help of a dust suppression strategy centered on GE’s DusTreat DC9112 organic binding agent.

Open-pit mines produce great quantities of dust by their nature. At Kinross-La Coipa, tremendous amounts of dust were created when off-road trucks moved material from the mine area to the crushing area, creating low-visibility conditions, which raised safety issues for truck drivers.

Watering dusty roads to suppress dust is wasteful because it must be repeated frequently and it also can create slippery roads, which are a safety hazard. At Kinross-La Coipa, the problem roads are first graded and conditioned. Then, water trucks apply a solution of water and DusTreat DC9112. Once the product has cured, it renders road surfaces hard, dust-free and non-slippery for an extended period. On an ongoing basis, as trucks travel the roads and create new dust, and eventually spill dusty material on the surface, all that is necessary is a light watering to rejuvenate the product.

“This award exemplifies Kinross’ commitment to sustainable mining operations. We are pleased to present the Kinross-La Coipa mine with an ecomagination Leadership Award in recognition of its significant efforts in water reuse,” said Tadeu Justi, business leader, water and process technologies—Latin America for GE Power & Water. "GE is helping mining and industrial companies all over the world implement water reuse and conservation solutions to balance environmental, health and safety priorities in their operations.”

The GE ecomagination Leadership Award is given to less than .1 percent of GE’s water and process technologies customers that demonstrate significant environmental and economical performance improvements, striking a balance among today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges.

GE provides the mining industry with a complete set of water and process solutions to solve water challenges in mining applications, including dust control, pure water systems, BWRO/SWRO systems, process additives, cooling treatment, clarification and filtration, wastewater treatment, zero liquid discharge and boiler treatment.

Kinross is a Canadian-based gold mining company with mines and projects in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Russia, employing approximately 5,500 people worldwide. Kinross’ strategic focus is to maximize net asset value and cash flow per share through a four-point plan built on: delivering mine and financial performance; attracting and retaining the best people in the industry; achieving operating excellence through the “Kinross Way”; and delivering future value through profitable growth

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