Operations

overview

Exploration

The process of mining starts with the exploration works. This is done by drilling coreholes into the gypsum deposit. The core holes are drilled according to anestablished pattern in order to form a grid over our gypsum property.

When the coreholes are finished being drilled, the core is analyzed to define the quality ofgypsum found in that particular area of the gypsum deposit.

The data obtained in the exploration is transfered to our 3D mining software to model the reserves.

Mining Plan

Once the exploration works are finished for each area, we proceed to develop a quality map of the deposits in that area. This map details the tonnages and quality of the gypsum in a tri-dimensional model. We use this map to develop our mining plan, which establishes the order the mine will be exploited and the areas and benches blended

Mining of Gypsum Rock

Once the area is cleaned we drill blast holes. These holes are drilled at an average depth of 12 meters to form benches. The holes are then filled with explosives and blasted to fragment the gypsum rock at a maximum size of 40 inches per side. With the gypsum rock fragmented we then load it into off-highway trucks to feed a primary crusher located at the entrance of the mine.

Overland Conveyor from the mine to the plant and terminal

The primary crusher reduces the size of the gypsum from a maximum of 40 inches to a maximum of 10 inches per side. The capacity of this crusher is 800 tons per hour. From the primary crusher, the rock is moved with a conveyor belt to a stock pile.

Caopas has installed an overland conveyor that runs from the entrance of the mine to the secondary crushing plant located 5.5 kilometers from the mine. The project was completed in February 2004 and with its operation, Caopas has become the most efficient natural gypsum producer in the pacific rim.
The conveyor system is a 48” wide overland conveyor with a capacity of 1,000 tons per hour.

Shipping

When the gypsum gets to the stock pile, it is ready to be shipped and used by our customers. Most (+95%) of our product is shipped by vessel.

The ship loader is a hydraulic conveyor system that rotates 270 degrees and positions the discharge of the conveyor system on almost any place on the vessel’s holds. The ship loader also moves up and down, and back and forward to adjust to the size and height of the vessel. The loading system is design to load up to 2,000 tons per hour.

Operations

  • Exploration
  • Mining Plan
  • Mining of the Gypsum Rock
  • Shipping