The successful upgrade of PanAust’s Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation in Laos has seen Mipac’s remit expand to work on the Phu Kham Increased Recovery Project (IRP).
The IRP involves an investment of US$45 million in capital and is expected to lift annual copper and gold production by about 5000 tonnes and 7500 ounces respectively, and reduce cash costs by more than five per cent.
The mine is located about 120 kilometres north of the Lao capital, Vientiane, and is 90 per cent owned by PanAust’s Lao-registered company Phu Bia Mining Limited. The remaining 10 per cent is owned by the Government of Laos People’s Democratic Republic.
“Mipac is configuring the existing Yokogawa DCS CS3000 to incorporate the control of a new IsaMILL™, flotation cells, a filter press, associated ancillary drives, and a cleaner bank,” senior systems engineer Mohamed Maksoud says.
“I did the design and configuration for the project and will be based in Laos for at least a month to commission the plant. Mipac always tries to have the same people working on a project from start to finish. It creates efficiencies for the client and is helpful for information management purposes.”
PanAust expects the IRP to be completed in the June quarter of 2013.
“This would be two to three months ahead of the original schedule,” PanAust Executive General Manager project development and operational improvement Dr Fred Hess says.
“PanAust and Mipac have a track record of working as a team to develop solutions. Mohamed should be on site in the next few months and we expect to see an increase in life-of-mine recovery rates for both copper and gold in the near future.”