Tala Hamza zinc project is a high-grade zinc and lead project located within the Oued Amizour permit area on the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 15km from Bejaia, Algeria.
The mine is owned by Western Mediterranean Zinc (WMZ), a joint venture between Terramin (65%) and two state-owned government entities Enterprise Nationale des Produits Miniers Non-Ferreux et des Substances Utiles (ENOF, 32.5%) and Office National de Recherche Géologique et Minière (ORGM, 2.5%).
Terramin completed a feasibility study on the project in August 2018, which predicted annual production of 129,300t of zinc and 26,000t of lead over 21 years of mine life, with a capital expenditure $341m.
The project is expected to commence operation in 2021.
Tala Hamza geology and mineralisation
Covering an area of 125km², Tala Hamza is a massive sulphide (VHMS) deposit hosted in the Oued Amizour massif, a volcanic complex forming part of the Kabylian section of the Atlas mountain chain.
Tala Hamza mine was estimated to contain 25.9 million tonnes (Mt) of probable ore reserves, grading 6.3% zinc and 1.8% lead, as of August 2018.
Indicated resources were estimated to be 44.2Mt, grading 5.54% zinc and 1.44% lead, while inferred resources were estimated to be 8.9Mt grading 4.0% zinc and 0.7% lead.
Mining method for Tala Hamza zinc project
The Tala Hamza zinc-lead mine, given the variable shape of the ore body, will adopt mechanised underhand cut-and-fill mining method to ensure the safe and selective extraction of ore from the narrow veins, without sterilising other mine areas, which can be used for mining lower grade ores in future.
The mining will progress from top to down with the use of cemented fill and steel reinforcements to enable mining activity beneath the fill.
Ore processing for Tala Hamza zinc project
The Tala Hamza ore will pass through a primary crusher, a semi-autogenous-grinding mill and a ball grinding mill before going through zinc and lead floatation circuits.
The obtained flotation material from each circuit will further pass through IsaMill ultra-fine grinding, cleaning, thickening, filtering and drying, for the production of zinc and lead concentrates.
The zinc and lead concentrates will be stored in two separate concentrate storage facilities, before being transported for shipping.