Minera Tayahua, Mexico

Minera Tayahua is an underground copper and zinc operation with an extraction capacity of 5,500 tonnes per day. A few years ago, the company decided to invest in increasing production up to 15,500 tonnes per day with the new Tayahua Primary Copper expansion project scheduled to start operation by Q1 2016. 

The Job/ The Challenge

For years, Minera Tayahua applied sprayed concrete manually. However, there were imperfections in the spraying process, hindering the efficiency of the operation. The sprayers had insufficient knowledge of the spraying process, which resulted in high consumption of cement and accelerator. And on site, it was also observed that the quality of the concrete was inconsistent.
Although the company was operating four Alpha 20s, the equipment’s performance was not up to par due to a lack of proper maintenance.

The Solution

Normet proposed the use of TamShot 70AF together with full technical support to improve the spraying process. We conducted many trials to find the optimum accelerator dosage rate, performing quality controls on the raw materials and concrete.

Operator training was held to teach the technical staff spraying knowledge, such as spray distance, air pressure, accelerator dosage rate, mix workability, etc. We conducted a monthly process audit with an equipment review programme, maintenance recommendations and instruction in the proper maintenance procedures. Technical reports, covering the review process, raw materials analysis and maintenance, were sent to Tayahua’s management showing monthly progress.

Project Outcome

Minera Tayahua decided to use Normet products together with the improved technical support service. Since then, it has generated significant benefits including:

  •  reduction of cement consumption (50kg/m3)
  •  reduction of accelerator consumption (6 litre/m3)
  •  reduction of rebound (from 22% to 12%) 

Quality control of both the raw materials and concrete has been improved. After the trials and months of observation, a dosage was standardized and the strength of the concrete was increased. The overall performance of the concrete spraying operation has improved as the personnel have better knowledge of the operation process. Better maintenance of the fleet has also led to fewer repairs and less downtime, resulting in lower costs.

Normet has proven to Minera Tayahua that we are a professional and reliable company with quality products and full technical support. As a result, Minera Tayahua is now using Normet admixtures and has recommended our service and products to its contracting companies.