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Published by miningnova
gold processing
gold processing

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: miningnova on Jun 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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r Richard Roberts, Manager: Control,Instrumentation and Electronics forAnglo Technical Division, writing inAnglo American’s
, last year noted 300m
flotation cells. “One large unit typicallycosts less than two smaller ones of equivalentcapacity, with concomitant savings in floorspace, construction costs, piping, cabling andinstrumentation, although the cost of down-time, whether owing to a breakdown or routinemaintenance, is more severe and investment inspecialized tools and equipment may offsetsome of the initial capital savings.”Similarly, he notes the large grinding millsbeing installed today, which “have outgrownthe power transmission capability ofconventional motors and gearboxes and,instead, are fitted with gearless drives,the motor windings being wrappeddirectly around the mill shell.”Grinding is an essential early stagein gold processing and is veryenergy intensive, perhaps accountingfor as much as 30% of amine’s total electricity use.He explains that AngloGoldAshanti, Anglo Base Metalsand Anglo Platinum have allinvested in ‘expert’ computercontrol systems to optimize theoperation of all large mills. The aimis to maximize throughput at anygiven moment by changingparameters such as mill speed,ore-feed rate and dilution waterflow. “These systems can increaseproduction by as much as 5% overthe efforts of the best humanoperators, as well as stabilizingoperations despite constantly-changing ore-feed properties.“Online analytical instrumentscan provide valuable insights into theoperation of many processes at anygiven moment, supplementingmore accurate information thatis only received from the assaylaboratory at a later time. AngloPlatinum has installed a number of‘robolabs’ at its concentrators and smelters – inconjunction with improved chemical-assay tech-niques, these robotic laboratories provide rapidfeedback to plant operators so that the dosageof reagents and other important parameterscan be adjusted to maintain the optimum eco-nomic recovery conditions for the materialbeing treated at any given moment."Better comminution will benefit all areas ofmineral processing – not least the gold sector.Richard Beck of AMIRA believes "microwavetechnology offers the biggest advance in thecomminution of rock for mineral extractionsince human labour gave way to the machine.”This technology exploits the differing thermaldielectric properties of mineralsto cause them tofracture along grain boundaries.Its potential hasbeen understood for more than 20 years, buthas not been considered commercially viableuntil now because of the amount of energyrequired, he explains. However, the researchteam working on AMIRA project P879A arenow confident that the pulsed microwave tech-nology they are developing will overcome this.They believe that within a few years it will beeconomically more efficient than conventionalcomminution for many ores.“We are actively building up a database ofore types that are responsive to this approachand we now know that a lot of economicallysignificant types can benefit from it,” Becksays. He is the AMIRA Research Directorco-ordinating the project. Key researchinstitutions are theUniversities of Stellenboschand Nottingham and e2vtechnologies, a British-based firm developingmicrowave generation anddeployment equipment.Industry sponsors areAnglo American, BHPBilliton, Outokumpuand Rio Tinto.Fragmentation byelectrodynamic highvoltage (HV) pulsedpower is anotherinnovation with muchpotential. For the firsttime, Swiss-basedselFrag is making theprocess globallycommercially available.The selFrag processopens up newpossibilities foranalyzing mineralsamples in scientificand materials testingapplications. Thesystems can selectivelyfragment raw materials toliberate mineral inclusions or to
Bigger and better
A trend across the disciplines, from mining to processing, is the increased size of equipmentthat is raising productivities and efficiencies.
John Chadwick
also looks at innovative products,environmental initiatives and reducing energy consumption in gold processing.
International Mining
APRIL 2007
The Dorr-Oliverflotation cell.
Ore handling and preparation
Feed preparation
– crushing, rod and ball milling,autogenous and semi-autogenous milling
– heap and agitated vessel
– flotation, dense-media separation,gravity concentration, photo- and radiometric sorting
Refractory gold-ore treatment
– roasting, bacterial andpressure oxidation
Carbon processes
– carbon-in-leach, carbon-in-pulp andcarbon-in-solution
Leach-liquor recovery
– counter-current decantationand filtering
Gold recovery from solution
– electrowinning andzinc precipitation
Gold-bullion refining
– electrorefining, acid digestion,calcining, smelting and slag treatment
Cyanide recovery and destruction
Materials-handling systems
– conventional, overland and
 JPC (pipe) conveyors, feeders and backfill production systems
Dust and air-pollution control systems
– a comprehensiverange including bag filters, scrubbers and cartridge filters.
lexible contract structuring accommodates projects largeand small, for example reimbursable, EPCM, lump-sum,fixed fee or joint ventures.
e are minerals-processing and materials-handlingengineers and project managers, with in-housetechnology and the design capability to handle the largestturnkey projects. The Bateman Engineering Group’s trackrecord numbers over 1,000 successful projects in more than50 countries since 1980. This includes over 60 gold-processplants and major modifications to existing plants worldwide.
LeLeus us 
unlock unlock 
your your 
gold gold resources resources 
and and 
add the add the lustre lustre 
rom ore to bullion and fine gold, Bateman Engineering tackles any gold- processing assignment – from preliminary test work and studies to bankable documents, raising project funding and complete turnkey projects, covering all the processes needed for the effective recovery of gold.
Rivierstaete Building, Amsteldijk 166 1079 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Offices in Africa, the Americas, Australasia and Eurasia
For your gold-processing requirements call us at: 
Tel: +27-11-899-9111Email: gold@BatemanEngineering.coWeb: www.BatemanEngineering.com 
A backfill plant on a gold mine.A low CAPEX plant.A gold-process plant at a heap leach operation.Ball mills at a gold-process plant.
 – process plants that work 
International Mining
APRIL 2007
increase the quality and quantity of products(high-purity quartz, diamonds, platinum, etc.).selFrag consumes extremely little energy inspite of the very high voltages used. Withpulsed technology, the energy is actually emittedin brief, abrupt pulses lasting less than onethousandth of a second.Its key benefits include:
Predominant fracturing along grain interfaces
Very clean surfaces of liberated minerals
Minimal damage to liberated target specimensand high yield of available target specimens
Preservation of natural particle size distribution
Narrow range of particle size distribution andchoice of mean value
Single step processing - from rock to micro-grain
Higher speed and quality of downstreamanalytical process steps.Flotation today is one of the industry’s‘conventional’ process techniques – but themachines are getting larger. OutokumpuTechnology will deliver three of the world'slargest flotation cells, TankCel
-300, to OceanaGold's Macraes operation in New Zealand. This,with an active capacity of over 300m
, is thelargest mechanical flotation cell in the worldand the Macraes delivery will be the first suchinstallation.Macraes is New Zealand's largest producer ofgold, with theannual capacityto process 6 Mt.A single trainconfiguration of 1/1/1 TankCell-300s, combinedwith two existing TankCell-150s, will replacethe plant's original three trains of columnflotation, representing a significant reductionnot only in footprint, but also in operatingcosts, such as maintenance and spare parts.The larger TankCell design also offers optimizedfroth stability for low-grade ores, as well asongoing savings from lower air and powerconsumption. The Macraes TankCell-300 unitswill also feature Outokumpu Technology’s latestfield-proven and patented FloatForceTM mixingtechnologies.Engineers from Dorr-Oliver Eimco note themetallurgical performance of a flotation circuitis influenced by a number of interacting internaland external processes. Processes independentof the flotation circuit include the operationalphilosophy at the mine site; variability in theorebody’s physical and metallurgical characteristics;operation of the grinding circuit; and down-stream processing steps. In addition, chemicaland physical interactions of the reagents andconditioning steps can affect performance.These interactions can be either external orinternal to the flotation circuit.The liberation characteristics of the valuableminerals can affect recovery in gold flotationcircuits. In addition to the presence of freegold, losses can be associated to fine grained,P80< 45 microns, sulphides. Conversely,coarse particle losses can occur withparticles greater than 90 microns. Thereare also instanceswhere mineral oxidation occurs, depressing thefloatability of the valuable mineral.The design characteristics of flotationmachines can be used to address thechallenges presented in gold flotation. Ingeneral, fine particle flotation is enhanced withforced air machines. An industrial standard ofthis type of design is the Dorr-Oliver flotationcell. Coarse particle flotation is increased whenbubble-particle collision occurs near the surfaceof the flotation cell. This reduces the traveldistance of the bubble-particle matrix anddecreases the probability of detachment. TheWemco
flotation cell’s elevated rotor design isideal for coarse particle recoverySome gold concentrators have elected toinstall both types of cells in a single row. Thismixed row concept takes advantage of thehydrodynamic differences between the Dorr-Oliver and Wemco flotation cells. Both fine andcoarse particle recovery can then be optimizedin a single flotation row. An additional advantageof the mixed row concept is that the Dorr-Oliver and Wemco flotation machines aredesigned with interchangeable mechanisms.This allows the operator the flexibility to modifythe row’s configuration to optimize themetallurgical performance.At the 1997 SME conference in DenverColorado, Gary Simmons reported thatincreased gold recovery could be achieved byminimizing the oxidation of auriferous pyrite byflotation in an inert atmosphere. In this worknitrogen was used as the flotation gas. The selfinduced characteristics of the Wemco flotationcell lend it to this application. A cover is usedto contain the nitrogen and allow its recircula-tion from the cell’sfreeboard to theair inlet.
Outokumpu Technology TankCell-300s

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