Engineering, procurement and construction management company TWP’s Peru office in Lima has made impressive inroads into the South American mining and process industries in the two years since it opened. “Countries such as Peru and Chile, while relatively mature markets, definitely need the input of EPCM companies such as TWP, especially on small and medium-sized projects,” says Ryan Illingworth, Technical Director – TWP Sudemérica. Commodities in Peru are predominantly gold, copper and silver, while Chile’s prime commodity is copper. “Furthermore, Columbia and Bolivia are looking to expand their mining activities and we are ideally placed to capitalise on that.”
The Peru office has been awarded several jobs, including a project to investigate the expansion of the one of the largest and oldest open pit mines in Peru – Cerro de Pasco. The client, Volcan, has awarded TWP a contract to develop an optimised pit shell design and subsequent feasibility study for the pushback. Future potential work will include the design of a new processing facility. In addition to this work, the client has awarded TWP a project to assist with the development of a geo-metallurgical model to represent the ore to be mined during this pushback. This ore was thought to be uneconomical to mine in the past, but with the geo-metallurgical approach, it is believed that a feasible mine plan can be developed. Geo-metallurgy as a discipline has not yet been practiced in Peru, so it is a feather in TWP’s cap to be pushing the boundaries in this field. TWP Sudamèrica has also recently been awarded a contract by Antamina (one of the largest open pit mines in the world) to complete the detail engineering for a new double story canteen and kitchen. There is also an exciting project in negotiation in North America at the moment.
TWP has also been proactive in exposing the Peruvian mining industry to new technology, and teamed up with Xtrata Technologies to host a presentation on the topic of Ultrafine Grinding with ISAMill technology. Greg Rasmussen from Xtrata Technologies in Canada presented the detail behind the development of the ISAMills and the way in which it works. Andy Cope from TWP in South Africa presented TWP’s extensive experience in implementing the technology. The event was a resounding success with representatives from various mining companies, metallurgical laboratories and educational institutions attending.
In June, TWP opened a Project Support Office in Arequipa, which is the second largest city in Peru and the centre of a large mining district. TWP has various projects in this region, most notably the detail engineering for a new heap leach facility for Cerro Verde (Freeport McMoran). TWP has staff travelling to Arequipa on a weekly basis and the logistics are challenging to manage. The project office will help in the coordination of the requirement in this respect. This office will also in time start to produce engineering on Stay in Business type projects and small capital projects. Response to the launch has been very positive with TWP also receiving a new enquiry from a client in Arequipa. ,“We need to build our operations in a sustainable manner to take advantage of the substantial amount of work that is becoming available in South America,” concludes Illingworth.