Yanacocha is a gold mine in northern Peru, considered to be the second largest gold mine in the world, producing over US$7 billion worth of gold to date.
The mine is located high in the Andes Mountains, 28 miles north of Cajamarca and 375 miles north of Lima. The property encompasses 607 square miles.
Yanacocha is the largest gold producer in South America. It is a complex of five open pit mines, four leach pads, two gold recovery plants and a crushing and agglomeration facility.
There are five separate open pit mines on the property: Carachugo, Maqui Maqui, Yanacocha, San José and La Quinua. Yanacocha and La Quinua are in current operation.
There is a 410 million ton-capacity leach pad at the Carachugo pit, a 60 million ton-capacity leach pad at the Maqui Maqui pit, a 460 million ton-capacity leach pad at the Yanacocha pit, a 400 million ton capacity leach pad at the La Quinua pit, and two solution ponds and a storm water pond at the base of each leach pad.
Drilling is done using Ingersoll Rand DM45E and Atlas Copco machines. Ore is transported 2.5 km or more to the leach pads using wheeled loaders and 85 ton trucks, and is heaped by stackers.
Critics of the mine say the government granted the enterprise to Minera Yanacocha after accepting bribes from Newmont, and without properly consulting with, and obtaining agreement from local communities. Yanacocha also began operations using massive open pits and leach pads in an environmentally sensitive area full of farms that rely on water coming from the mountains in the mine area.