The mining and concentrating activities at Barruecopardo have been designed in a way that minimizes any environmental impact they may cause, while ensuring a high mineral recovery:
The extraction and concentration of tungsten from the rock is simple and low cost adopting the following four stages;
Mining extraction: mining at Barruecopardo is carried out using an open pit method, which allows the extraction of the mineral containing ore for its transportation to the entry of the mineral concentration plant.
Comminution: in the first phase of concentration, the ore is crushed to liberate the mineral containing tungsten (scheelite) from the host rock. This is then screened to ensure a maximum size of 5mm is achieved.
Separation: once the scheelite is liberated from the host rock, it all then passes through a gravity concentrating process, which uses the difference in densities between the scheelite and the host rock to enable the scheelite to be separated and concentrated – simply with the use of recycled water.
Bagging: following completion of the gravity process the clean mineral (scheelite) concentrate is dried, bagged and prepared for sale.
The mineral concentration process requires a stable supply of water, and for this Saloro makes use of the water that had flooded the abandoned historic mining excavation after its closure in 1982, during which time some 1Mm3 of water accumulated. This water has been pumped, cleaned and stored for reuse in ponds built for the purpose by Saloro.
The water used during the extraction and concentration operations at the site is collected and recycled for re-use. Site water is managed in a closed circuit.
Saloro holds mandatory water discharge permits, with any necessary discharges from site being carried out in accordance with all prevailing legislation.