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Yatela Gold Mine, Mali

Mining & Processing


The Yatela Gold Mine uses conventional open pit mining techniques.  Production currently exploits the main Yatela pit with supplemental ore sourced from Alamoutala during 2003/2004. The main pit is currently designed to be 1,300 metres in length with a maximum width and depth of approximately 600 metres and 220 metres, respectively.

Mining of heap-leachable ore will cease in mid-2010 after which leaching and rinsing of the heaps will continue for some months. The potential for a small amount of sulphide ore below the existing Alamoutala deposit to be treated at Sadiola is being investigated.


The process plant consists of a standard heap leaching facility. It consists of a crusher feeding an agglomeration drum to produce a pelletized product.  The discharge from the agglomeration drum is transported by an overland conveyor to the “grasshopper” mobile conveyors and radial stackers which build each heap leach pad in three lifts. Cement is added during the agglomeration process to add structural stability to the heaps and ensure adequate percolation on the lower lifts.  Cyanide solution is fed through drip irrigation piping on the pads. The pregnant solution is collected after it has percolated through the pad and is eventually pumped through carbon filled columns which strip out the gold.

The average life-of-mine gold recovery rate incorporated in the feasibility study was 85%. The leach cycle of the Yatela Gold Mine is longer than originally anticipated, however, the ultimate recovery rate for the contained gold is still around 85%.