Yamana (Meridian) El Penon (CRF Plant)



Turquoise Ridge JV

Yamana Gold
El Peñón Mine
Antofogasta, Chile

70 tons per hour


  • Conceptual Design
  • Structural/Mechanical Engineering
  • Design & Supply of Control System
  • Supply/Fabrication of all Equipment
  • Supervision of Equipment Installation
  • Commissioning and Training


  • Two Aggregate Conveyors
  • Pugmill Backfill Mixer
  • Backfill Holding Hopper
  • Backfill Mixer Support Structure
  • 125 Ton Cement Silo
  • Screw Conveyor
  • 1350 liter Colloidal Mixer
  • Slurry Surge Tank
  • Peristaltic Slurry Pump
  • Dust Collection System
  • Control Room/PLC/MCC System
  • Pneumatic Control System

Team Mixing Technologies (TMT) designed, manufactured, and commissioned this automated backfill plant. It is located in the driest location on earth, the Atacama dessert in northern Chile.

This plant combines cementitious slurry with coluvium (aggregate), known as ‘chusca’. A TMT Tornado slurry system is utilized to prepare slurry in multiple batches and store it in a holding tank. Aggregate is stockpiled above a tunnel conveyor and is then conveyed to a pugmill via a conveyor scale.

The process is a hybrid system, using automated slurry batching combined with a continuous process at the pugmill where the aggregate and slurry are mixed before discharging to the backfill holding hopper and haul-truck. The system is mostly self-cleaning, using the Tornado’s colloidal mixer and slurry pump to purge all lines, the pugmill and gob hopper.

This project was particularly challenging due to the complexity of coordinating the continuous processes to sized truckloads up to 20 tonnes. Two variable frequency drives (VFDs), a conveyor scale, and a variable speed/reversing peristaltic pump were utilized within the system to ensure consistent, high quality backfill.

The unique feature of this plant is the self cleaning purge cycle inherent within every batch. The system self-cleans in this manner and may continue this way for shifts of any duration. At the end of a shift, a wash formula, (water only), be run for a final cleaning.