Mineral Processing Technology (MPT 2007)
of these high value tailings. Tailings so generatedfrom these two pro-cesses got mixed up in duecoarse of time because of erosion of lighter particle and segregation effect.After abandoning the old dump, from theyear 2001 onwards the new tailing dump wasconstructed with embankments of waste rock,after expansion of mill and subsequent adoptionof CIP & modified sand classification system.The residual gold of about 0.3 to 0.4 g/t, in present day tailings is being disposed in the newtailing dump.
1.2 Environmental Considerations
The abandoned mine wastes produces a lot of environmental pollutions into the mine areas aswell as in its vicinity. The source of environ-mental pollution is the metallic waste rocksgenerated from the mine and the metallurgical plant tailings. Environmental manag-ement of these mine wastes is not only a costly affair butalso cumbersome.Afforestation efforts towards retarding theenvironment pollution hazard are a veryexpensive affair and it is not a permanent remedy.The major constituents of the mill tailings beingabout 55 to 60% of silica dust and the balanceamphibole minerals causes lung diseases byinhalation of the same.
1.3 Tailings Treatment
In recent years, the treatment of the final tailingshas attracted increasing interest. Pre concen-tration of such tailings is usually required toallow satisfactory gold extraction and economicviability. One of the proven pre concentrationmethods is the classification and gravityconcentration.Recovery via gravity is one of the oldestmineral processing methods available to treatthese tailings. Recently, with the push towardsmore sustainable environmental outcomes, the benefits of gravity separation have become moreapparent compare to the other chemicaltechniques.Taking in to these considerations an attempthas been made to recover the precious residualgold as well as valuable coarse sand for fill thevoids in under ground stopes from old dump witha target of low capital costs, low environmentalimpact and maximum return.
2. EXPERIMENTATION & RESULTS
By considering the high demand of filling sand inunder ground and value addition of goldrecovery, the plans has been made and test work was conducted in a sequence to reduce processcosts. Studies were conducted in the laboratorystage for finding the suitable process route totreat the old abandoned tailings with mosteconomical feasible way.Some of the available economic tailingtreatment process routes are:i.Direct cyanide leaching & classification.ii.Falcon concentration, concentrate leaching &classification.iii.Classification & classified sand leaching.For preliminary evaluation of the abovetailing treatment processes, and finding out theaverage gold content and coarse sand availability,samples were collected from 26 locations of olddump at different levels at a depth of 10-15 feets,and thoroughly mixed, homogenized sample wastaken for the study. The average gold value of these samples was 0.66 g/t and 39% by weight being +325 mesh in size.The mineralogy of the old dump sand isgiven in Table-1; the material is a rock powder with predominantly grey to brownish grey colour and some slightly recessed light colour.The analysis confirms that coarser fractions(+325#) is about 39% by weight having anaverage assay value of about 0.5 – 0.7 g/t and61% by weight of fine fraction also contains goldof 0.4 g/t. Considering the above analysis andmannual panning clearly shows some of theliberated gold present in these dumps and planshas been made to find the maximum goldrecoverable from these tailings by cyanidationwith respect to time, cyanide dosage and alsohydrogen peroxide addition as an oxidant. Theleaching tests were conducted in Lab Jar mills.
Mineralogy of Hutti Old Dump Tailings
Quartz60-65 %Carbonates10-15 %