South American mining company, Minera Santa Cruz, has ordered an additional five InLine Leach Reactors (ILRs) for its San José mining project in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina from mineral processing equipment specialist, Gekko Systems. The order comprises ILRs, purpose-designed silver electrowinning (EW) cells, and associated equipment. Gekko Systems’ technological and design ingenuity, combined with Hochschild’s (joint owner of Minera Santa Cruz) gold and silver mining expertise, has produced unprecedented recovery rates from flotation concentrates. The San José joint venture set leach ILR target recovery rates for gold and silver at 96% and 97% respectively. According to Gekko, these targets are consistently being achieved.Since opening in 2007, ILR recovery rates for Hochschild’s Selene mine in Peru have achieved 98% for both silver and gold. “Extracting silver, as well as gold, via intensive leaching from flotation concentrates at such high recovery rates, and therefore being able to produce silver doré on site, provides mining companies with considerable market advantage,” said Nick Katsikaros, Technical Specialist at Gekko Systems.Current processing plant capacity at San José is 265,000 t/y. Minera Santa Cruz recently advised the market of its intention to double capacity during 2009. The order for five additional Gekko Systems’ ILRs will supplement that expansion.Minera Santa Cruz commenced gold and silver mining operations during 2007. In addition to the ILRs installed at Hochschild Mining’s Selene silver and gold mining operation, Gekko also installed a direct EW system for the recovery of silver and gold. The EW system was developed particularly for high-volume silver concentrates which incorporate auto sludge harvesting. In combination with the high efficiency of the ILR, a substantially higher overall recovery is obtained.