Leading South American tin producer, , has announced board approval for a US$195 million investment to execute its tailings retreatment project, situated next to the operating San Rafael tin mine in Peru.

The operation is designed to produce some 5,000 tpa of tin over a 9-year mine life, at projected cash costs of some $5,500 per tonne. Development will entail construction of a new tailings dam as well as a new 3,000 tpd processing plant to treat the existing tailings material. First production from the new plant is projected to commence in late 2019.

ITRI View: There are two large tailings dams associated with Minsur’s San Rafael mine and the B2 project is focused on the treatment of material from the oldest dam, which was closed in 1999. The average grade of tailings in the first dam is a little over 1% Sn. The project has been under consideration for a number of years, with a scoping study first produced back in 2009, so the decision to move ahead into the execution phase is a key development. B2 is not the only significant scale tin tailings project, with Australian miner, Metals X, also considering proceeding with its Rentails tailings treatment project in Tasmania following a successful feasibility study earlier this year.