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$3.8 Billion Mega Mine Revives Dead Gold Mine

$3.8 Billion Mega Mine Revives Dead Gold Mine

Company News Wednesday, November 28, 2012: PDF Electric & Supply

Are the streets in the Dominican Republic paved with gold?

The Pueblo Viejo Mega mine has cost nearly $3.8 billion to build, and it is expected to generate revenue of well over $1 billion annually. The mine is looking to produce over 600,000 ounces of gold a year which is equivalent to 18.75 one-ton pickup trucks filled with gold. August 2012 saw the first gold produced from the new mine. When at full capacity the mine will process 24,000 metric tons of ore daily.

The huge mine sits on a site of seven square miles that was once occupied by a former mine. The new processes used there have revived a "dead" mine into a profitable operation, but it has required extensive automation to achieve profitability.

Utilizing programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in every phase, the mining process has been automated to enable this mammoth mine to achieve its outsized goals. The PLCs are used to synchronize excavation, ore delivery, and twenty additional processes used to extract gold, silver and copper from the mined ore.

Engineers have created a PLC system with over 11,000 input/output points to control every step of the operation. A DeltaV distributed control system handles all these processes using Rockwell Automation PLCs.

Initial exploration surveys estimate that the mine holds about 25 million ounces of gold, 168 million ounces of silver, 652 million pounds of copper, 6 billion pounds of zinc and 25 million pounds of nickel. supplies Allen-Bradley and GE Fanuc PLC parts with world wide distribution. In addition, repairs and sells new and remanufactured PLC’s.