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History of Al Masane Cu Zn Mine

AMAK Mining’s only operating mine Al Masane Copper Zinc Mine and development project Guyan Gold are in the Najran Province of KSA. The mine site is located 80 km North of Najran City and 220 km East of Abha City.

• 1967 Discovery of Sa’adah and Al Houra Gossans by Arabian Shield Development Company (ASOC)
• 1971: Exploration Licence awarded to ASDC and National Mining Company (NMC)
• 1971-74: Grassroots Exploration and Prospecting
• 1974-78: Exploration, drilling, testwork, technical studies
• 1979-80: Underground Exploration, drilling and bulk sampling
• 1981: Discovery of Moyeath deposit
• 1981-82: Pilot-Plant metallurgical testwork, Feasibility Study
• 1981.86: Further exploration and Technical Studies
• 1987: Exploration Suspended
• 1993: Mining Lease Issued to ASDC
• 1993-2007: On Hold, capital raising
• 2007: AMAK formed, signed contracts with NESMA/China National Geological and Mining Corporation. China (CGM)
• 2008-2011: Construction and Commissioning
• 2012.2015:Q4: Commercial Operations. CGM contracted for Operations
• 2015:04: Operations put on care and maintenance
• 2016:Q1:Q4: Plant Upgrade, Guyan Gold Exploration and Studies, Regional Exploration, technical Studies
• 2016:Q4: Operations Recommence

Underground Mining

Run of mine (ROM) from underground production stopes is delivered to a primary crusher located at the surface, 250m from the portal (exit of underground ramp). There is a +100,000 tonne surface ore stockpile at the surface just in front of the primary crusher, which is managed by grade control teams. This stockpile is used to make a consistent feed quality to the process plant where the ore is processed to produce copper and zinc concentrates. Underground rock movement within the mine is performed by Caterpillar AD30 dump trucks. In the first phase extension of the mine, we developed return ventilation raises from Sa’adah and Al Houra to the surface. Development and production using trackless equipment commenced in Sa’adah and Al Houra deposits. The ventilation raises are equipped with ladder-ways, providing a secondary means of emergency egress from both Sa’adah and Al Houra. A new decline will be driven from the surface to access the Moyeath deposit. The new decline will originate at a new portal located South of the existing portal on the lower slopes of Wadi Sa’adah.

Underground Infrastructure and Mining Methods

AMAK has considered the following mining methods, which are employed as required:

  • Open-Stope, Longhole Mining
  • Sub-Level Retreat Blast-Hole Stoping
  • Cut and Fill Retreat Mining

Ore Processing

At Al Masane, the process plant consists of crushing, grinding, flotation (three circuits), filtering, leaching, SART and Merrill Crowe, tailings management units.

The crushed ore is first transported to SAG (semi autogenous mill) Mill and Ball Mill to grind to a finer size for better liberation and hence metal recovery. There is also regrinding unit which is also utilized upon requirement.

In the flotation level, firstly deleterious material (talc) is floated in the first circuit. After the ore is prepared as free of most of the talc material, it is sent to copper circuit where the copper minerals are floated and collected via rougher, cleaner and scavenger sub-units. After the copper floatation circuit, the ore is sent to zinc circuit to collect the zinc minerals (mainly sphalerite).

The zinc tailings is then sent to belt filters and filtered before pumped to leach tanks for cyanide leaching. The tailings is leached with NaCN to recovery any remnant gold and silver in the tailings. This leach solution is then sent to SART unit where the copper and silver is recovered in a copper cake product. Gold in the solution then transports to Merrill Crowe, where the gold particles in the solution is recovered as a MC cake. This cake is then acid leached to get rid of impurities before being smelted at the furnace. The gold dust (acid leached MC cake) is smelted to produce gold/silver bullions.

” We completed the testing and commissioning of our mining facility , which is fully operational as of quarter 3 of 2012. The facility was officially inaugurated
by His Royal Highness Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince of Najran on 2 October 2012 “