The feasibility report on the expansion of the EOB was submitted by MRDL to SML in February 2022. Recently, based upon the exploration data of 2021 The mineable ore reserves were further increased to 115 million tons @ 0.374% Cu, further 23 shallow drill holes of 100m each and 20 deep drill holes of 300-400m each drilled up to the end of 2021, as per initial reports the mineable ore reserves increased up to 119 million tons @0.374 Cu but the detailed report is still awaited.
According to the Expansion Feasibility Report of EOB submitted in February 2022 based on the exploration data of 2019, the total amount of ore-bearing rocks within the pit limit is 215.36 million tons out of which the ore is 115.04 million and 100.31 million tons are waste rock with an average stripping ratio of 0.87t/t. The post-expansion production capacity for mining and mineral processing will be 21,200 t/d (700×104t/a) producing 110,000 t/a copper concentrate @ 22.5% Cu and the smelting capacity will reach to 24,276 t/a of blister copper.
The capacity of the existing process plant is 425×104 t/a and the capacity of the new concentrator to be installed will be 275×104 t/a. The 425×104 t/a concentrate in the existing concentrator and the 275×104 t/a concentrate in the new concentrator (700×104 t/a in total) will be thickened and dehydrated together utilizing the existing workshops. There are two flotation tanks available in the existing system which are enough to be used for the processing of the increased production. However, a concentrate dehydration filter press will be added to the existing workshop based on the total ore processed i.e. 700×104 t/a.
Existing & Expansion Tailings Facility
As per the final feasibility of the east ore body, the total tailings amount is 8968.9×104t and the tailings accumulation volume is 6406.4×104m3.
The Xigou TSF is the current tailing storage facility in use that is about 2km to the east of the concentrator with a total capacity is about 8823.82×104m3.
As per the expansion beneficiation project (700×104 t/a), the total tailings produced quantity will be 113 million tons @ 20500 t/d. The Xigou TSF will be used as a tailings dam for the coming 2 to 3 years. According to MRDL, the construction of a new Chagou TSF is proposed in the adjacent valley on the west side of Xigou TSF which is inevitable and will be constructed in the meantime, after the finalization of the expansion of EOB whose tentative completion time is 18 months with the storage capacity of 4988.47x104m3. Both of these TSFs will be used one after another as far as the tailings pond scheme is concerned.
Expansion in Utilities/Powerhouse
Water Supply: The current water supply is from the underground water sources 40 km away and 8 deep wells are used to collect water from a depth of about 200m underground. In the proposed design, the operation mode of the main pump of the primary pump station of the existing water source will be changed from the current two-use & two-standby mode to a three-use and one-standby mode and the daily water transport capacity will be increased to 27,234m3 to meet the overall water demand of the project.
Power House: Considering that the existing power generation units have been in operation for about 100,000 hours and the production demand for the following years will not be met due to the limitation of the unit status and service life of the generating units.
The current power/energy requirement is 27MW for 425×104t/a production which is met from the 05 heavy oil generating units provided in a centralized way with 03 for operation and 02 miscellaneous with 01 at overhauling and 01 for standby/backup.
The power/energy requirement will be 14MW for the expanded capacity of 275×104t/a, therefore 02 additional heavy oil generating units will be installed at the reserved location making the total number of generating units to 07 with 05 for operation, 01 for standby/backup and 01 at overhauling producing the overall output power of 41MW that will meet the power demand of the project.
The SML Board in its 134th meeting held on June 30th 2018 approved Geology, Mining Software along with hiring of professionals for training and operating the software. Now the recruitment of geologist, Assistant geologists, Assistant mining engineers, financial expert and software engineer has been complted, the Mining engineers and geologists are engaged practically with MRDLin daily routine working activities for capacity building and the procurement of geology/mining software is in process. SML is expecting to establish a well- equipped exploration/monitoring team for ore exploration, Geo modeling, Pit designing, development and ore exploitation, to be utilized in Chagai as well as in rest of the country.
The SML and MRDL separately applied for the E/L-202 area adjacent to the North Ore Body of the Saindak Project. However, the GoB granted the EL-202 to BMRL with the condition that BMRL will make a joint venture with SML and MRDL to explore and develop the area. Accordingly, BMRL sent a draft MOU to SML and MRDL to assess the area's mineral potential. The proposal was discussed at the SML board meeting held on September 30th, 2021 which referred it to the Technical Committee. After a detailed deliberation, the Board unanimously approved signing the MOU for exploratory drilling and authorized the management to sign the same. The MOU was signed on April 05th 2022
On April 16th , 2022 the SML received the prospecting/exploration Plan of EL-202 from MRDL situated at the north of the North Ore Body (NOB) of the Saindak project. MRDL has started arrangements for the prospecting/exploration activities jointly with SML.
The MMDD Licensing Authority granted the PL-Copper (84)/49919-99 of 46487.60 acres to SML on 31-05-2007 situated in Dasht-e-Kian District Chagai for a period of two years. The SML prospecting scheme was approved on 30-01-2009 and then granted the work order to SML on 12-02-2009.
The SML Board approved the Dasht-e-Kain project at a cost of Rs.153.544 million plus Rs. 15 million other expenses to be incurred by GSP on other related works on 09-08-2010. Further, the Board advised SML & GSP management to work out jointly on technical/financial modus operandi for implementation of the project
On the basis of self-style inspection report made without any notice, intimation, information and knowledge of the SML, the MMDD issued a show cause notice to SML for keeping the area idle on 06-01-2010. However, the show cause notice has never been received by the SML. The MMDD cancelled the prospecting license on 23-04-2010. This cancellation for the first time came into the knowledge of the SML on 20-08-2010 when the CME, SML visited the MMDD office to seek instructions for start of the work.
Consequently, the Saindak Metal Limited concerned the Court for the litigation and currently the litigation is in process.
The MMDD licensing authority granted the PL-Copper82 of1859.50 Acres to SML on 19.4.2012 for a period of two years. SML and Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) jointly explored the prospects of Copper in Siadiq at Chagai and drilled 3 bore holes at the depth of 400 meters each in the leased area of SML with a cost of Rs. 45 Million for exploration of Copper and Gold, the results are attractive and further exploration is needed in the area to estimate the reserves.The PL License was expired, SML applied for ML in 2016 but still awaited from Balochistan Government.