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Bulawayo Mining Company

END OF MONTH REPORT

Name : Angel Brito


Department : Mining
Month : March 2017
Period of attachment : 2016 2017

Subject : Reduction Plant Operations

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
Title page .. 1

Table of contents ...2

Executive Summary .. 3

Definition of terms 4

Crushing 5

Process flow of ore during crushing . 6

Milling 8

Process flow of ore during milling ... 9

Carbon In Pulp ..11

Process flow of pulp at the Carbon In Pulp section 12

Elution .. 14

Process flow of carbon and pregnant solution ....14

Elution Plant Operations ..16

Tailings Disposal 17

Tailings Dam 5 ..18

Observations and Challenges 19

Recommendations .... 20

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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"As-mined" or "run-of-mine" ore consists of valuable minerals and gangue. Mineral processing,
sometimes called ore dressing, mineral dressing follows mining and prepares the ore for
extraction of the valuable metal from metallic ores to produces a commercial end product
GOLD. Apart from regulating the size of the ore, it is a process of physically separating the
grains of valuable minerals from the gangue minerals, to produce an enriched portion, or
concentrate, containing most of the valuable minerals, and a discard, or tailing, containing
predominantly the gangue minerals. The gold ore reduction process involves

Crushing
Milling
Carbon In Pulp
Elution and Electro winning
Smelting
Tailings Disposal

General Overview of the Reduction Process

Jaw crusher
Crushing Gyratory crusher
Barmac crusher

Ball mills
Milling Hydrocyclones
Knelson Concentrators

Carbon
Cyanide
Carbon In Pulp
Hydrogen Peroxide
Oxygen

Hydrochloric Acid Wash


Elution Caustic-Cyanide Soak
Electro winning

Tailings Super Flow Tank


Disposal Pumps and Delivery Lines
Dam wall Cycloning and
Paddock systems

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DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Rough Ore Bin (R.O.B) facility for storing ore from underground.
2. Fine Ore Bin (F.O.B) facility for storing crushed ore prior to milling
3. Stock Pile temporary storage of ore on the which is used when the rough ore bin is full
4. Dust - Particulate matter in the air with potential of causing harm to the environment and its
occupants.
5. Milling Plant A entity that utilises ball mills and other related equipment to effect ore size
reduction
6. Ball mill - The equipment used for grinding ore from a coarse to a fine size using steel balls
as grinding media
7. Mill start up - The process of starting up a mill
8. Mill run down - The process of grinding out ore in the milling circuit after feed conveyors
have been stopped
9. Mill shut down - The process of stopping the mill
10. Grind Particle size distribution
11. Concentrates - Free gold recovered gravity process
12. Concentrating - Process of running the machine
13. Gravity concentrators-Equipment that recovers free gold through high speed rotation and
difference in densities of ore particles
14. Intensive Cyanidation-process of gold dissolution by use of high strength cyanide solution.
15. LOTO - Lock Out Tag Out
16. Pregnant solution - Solution containing high gold values.
17. Tails - solution containing low gold values
18. Wire wool - steel that conduct electricity and used for depositing gold.
19. Leaching/Cyanidation - dissolution of gold particles into solution by use of cyanide.
20. Titrations - Method used to determine the strength of cyanide and alkalinity of pulp.
21. Pulp - Mixture of solids (ore) and water.
22. Solid Cyanide White pellets of sodium cyanide (98%)
23. Antidote - Chemicals used to neutralize the effect of cyanide in case of inhalation or
intoxication (e.g. sodium thio-sulphate, amyl nitrite and sodium nitrite).
24. Housekeeping - The act of cleaning up a work station of any spillages, rejects, off-cuts or
trash resulting from work activity.
25. Lime - Inorganic material containing calcium oxide used for pH conditioning
26. Banks- a series of pumps
27. Piezo-meter An instrument used to measure water pressure in the dam.
28. Free board - vertical distance between the water line and the upper most water tight deck of
the dam.
29. TSF-Tailings Storage Facility

CRUSHING

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Crushing is the first mechanical stage in the process of comminution in which the main objective
is the liberation of the valuable minerals from the gangue. It is generally a dry operation and is
performed in three stages which are

i. Primary crushing ( Jaw crusher)


ii. Secondary crushing (Gyratory crusher)
iii. Tertiary crushing (Barmac crusher)

Vibrating screens are placed in line with the crushers to remove undersize material, or scalp the
feed, and thereby increase the capacity of the crushing plant. Undersize material tends to pack
the voids between the large particles in the crushing chamber, and can choke the crusher, causing
damage, because the packed mass of rock is unable to swell in volume as it is broken.

Crushing may be in open or closed circuit depending on product size. In open-circuit crushing,
undersize material from the screen is combined with the crusher product and is then routed to the
next operation. Open circuit crushing is used in intermediate crushing stages. Since the tertiary
crusher produces ball-mill feed, closed-circuit crushing is employed in which the undersize from
the screen is the finished product. The crusher product is returned to the screen so that any over-
size material will be re-circulated.

Process Risks/hazards

EMS OHS QMS


Dust Noise Ore size (feed, product)
Poor housekeeping Dust Poor housekeeping
House keeping Crushing rate
Working inside the crusher Moisture content
Conveyor in motion
Uncontrolled and unexpected
excessive discharge
Flying rock
Personal Protective Equipment

i. Overalls, iv. Clear goggles with side v. Dust respirator,


ii. Safety shoes, shields, vi. Gloves and
iii. Hard hat, vii. Ear plugs.

Process flow of ore in the Crushing Plant

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Rough Ore Bin
Capacity - 578 tonnes
Ore size +150mm
Grizzly bars above 3 ore passes

Vibratory Feeders / Vibro chutes 1,2&3


Fitted with adjustable gate iron bars supported on
chains, to control feedrate onto conyeyor belt Ore size -150mm

Conveyor Belt 1
Fitted with a Tramp metal detector for detection of Ore size -150mm
metal objects on the conveyor

Vibrator 1
Screen size : 2.5m * 1.25m Undersize : - 50 mm
Aperture Size : 50 mm Oversize : + 50mm

Jaw Crusher 1&2


Size : 14 * 24 Inch Ore Size reduction : 150mm to -50mm

Conveyor Belt 2
Fitted with magnet to trap metal objects that could
Ore size : -50mm
have escaped the tramp metal detector

Vibrating screen 2
Size : 2m * 1m Undersize : -25mm
Aperture size : 25mm Oversize : + 25mm

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Gyratory Crusher
Size : 36 Inch Diameter
Ore Size Reduction : 50mm to - 25mm
Gap : 25mm

Conveyor Belt 3
Ore Size : -25mm

Conveyor Belt 4
Ore Size : -25mm

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Fine Ore Bin 2


Conveyor Belt 8 Conyeyor Belt 7
Capacity : 800 tonnes
2 Discharge Chutes Ore Size : - 20mm Ore size : -20mm
Ore Size : -20mm

Fine Ore Bin 1 400


tonnes
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-
MILLING
Grinding is the last stage in the process of comminution; in this stage the particles are reduced
in size by a combination of impact and abrasion, in suspension in water. It is performed in
rotating cylindrical steel vessels which contain a charge of loose crushing bodies - the grinding
medium - which is free to move inside the mill, thus comminuting the ore particles.

The type of tumbling mills used are ball mills. The mill shell is rotated and motion is imparted to
the charge via the mill shell. The grinding media are steel balls, employed for fine-grinding
processes, in which particles of size 20 mm are reduced to 75 m.

Motion in Tumbling Mill

Cascading: produces attrition breakage


which leads to fine particle grinding
Cataracting: produces impact breakage
which leads to coarse particle grinding
As ore particles become smaller they
become less susceptible to breakage by
impact; this means that ore must be
reduced by attrition
Speed: critical speed is when the
grinding media are pinned to the shell by
centrifugal force
Feed chute: introduces ore into the mill.
A seal between the stationary feed chute
and the rotating mill prevents leaking.
Lifters: promote the tumbling action of
grinding media.
Liners: protect the shell from wear.
Shell: holds liners and lifters.
Trunnions: provide entry and discharge
points for slurry. Usually lined with
spiral flights. Normally support the mill.
Trommel screen: prevents large rocks,
tramp metal, or grinding media from
leaving with the ground product.
Grinding media: loose objects that
move freely inside the mill.

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Process flow of ore in the Milling Plant

Volumetric Conveyor 1 Inclined Conveyor 2


Jumper Conveyor 3 Conveyor belt 4
Adjustable speed Positioned with an
electronic belt Ore size : - 20mm Ore size : - 20mm
Controlled feed rate
Fine Ore Bins cutter and
FOB 1 : 400 t weightometer
FOB 2 : 800 t
Ore Size : -20mm

VD 9 Screen
O/F
Fitted with 10 * 10mm
poly screens
Undersize : - 10mm
Oversize : + 10mm

Primary Ball Mill


Primary Mill Pump Knelson Gravity
Concentrator O/F Mill size : 12 ft * 12 ft
Receiving Sump
Size : 48 Inch Diameter Grinding media : 100mm
Addition of dilution
Steel ball
water Pressure : 12 - 15 KPa
Liners : Steel
Ore size : - 10mm
Feed rate : + 40 t/h
Discharge densities : 65-75%
U/F solids
Acacia Plant

Primary Mill Hydrocyclone O/F


Feed densities : 45 - 50% solids
Underflow : 70 - 75% solids
Overflow : 26 - 30% solids

Delkor Screen

Splitter box

Secondary Mill 1

Secondary Mill
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2
Secondary Mill 3
Splitter box

O/F

Secondary Mill 1
Knelson Concentrator Re-Grind 1
Size : 7 * 11 ft
Size : 20 Inch Hydrocyclone
Feed rate : 20t/h
Diameter Feed : 40 - 45% solids
Feed : 70-75% solids
Grinding media : Pressure : 8-20 KPa Overflow : 26-30%
solids
60mm steel balls
Discharge density: Underflow : 70-75%
45-50% solids solids
U/F

O/F

Secondary Mill 2
Knelson Concentrator Re-Grind 2
Size : 6.5 * 20 ft
Size : 30 Inch Hydrocyclone
Feed rate : 20t/h
Feed : 70-75% solids Diameter Feed : 40 - 45% solids
Pressure : 8-20 KPa Overflow : 26-30%
Grinding media :
60mm steel balls solids
Discharge density: Underflow : 70-75%
45-5o% solids U/F solids

O/F
Delkor Screen
Removal of trash material

Secondary Mill 3
Re-Grind 3
Size : 7 * 11 ft Hydrocyclone
Feed rate : 20t/h Discharge box directing to CIP
Feed : 40 - 45% solids
Feed : 70-75% solids
Overflow : 26-30%
Grinding media : Target Overall Grind : 75%
solids
60mm steel balls passing 75m
Underflow : 70-75%
Discharge density: Pulp density : 26 - 30% solids
solids
45-50% solids
U/F

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CARBON IN PULP
After the final communition stage (milling) the pulp is normally dilute and thickening is
performed to increase pulp density to about 50% solids by mass. This reduces the size of the
leaching plant that would be required as-well as reduces the amount of leaching reagents
required. The leaching of gold can be conveniently be represented by the Elsener equation,

4Au + 8NaCN + 2 H2O 4 Na Au (CN)2 + 4 NaOH

With optimum Cyanide concentration , clean gold particles dissolve forming a gold aurocyanide
complex in the aqueous phase which is readily adsorbed onto the activated carbon. In addition,
oxygen is a crucial reagent for leaching. Pulp may contain organic and inorganic components
that consume oxygen, reducing the overall level of dissolved oxygen in the pulp and thus
reducing the leach kinetics.

Advantages of lime addition include

i. decomposition of Bicarbonates in mill water,


ii. improvement in settling rate in thickeners and
iii. improvement in extraction rates

Pulp densities which are too high, as-well as those which are to low can affect gold leaching
performance. Densities should be maintained at 48 50% solids.

Other parameters which affect adsorption include

i. the concentration of free ions such as calcium, sodium and potassium, oxygen
concentration and pH
ii. mineralogy of the material,
iii. particle size of the feed and finely divided material is preferred.

Carbon Adsorption

The technique involves contacting the leached pulp with granular carbon in series of gently
agitating tanks 1 - 18 with a sufficient retention time. The loaded charcoal is then separated from
the pulp on a vibrating trommel screen, coarse enough to retain the carbon but fine enough to
allow the pulp to pass through . The carbon is next sent to the stripping column for deposition
and regeneration. In the final tank 18, 2 tonnes of fresh or barren carbon is put in contact with
low grade or tailing solution. As it moves up the train, the carbon loads to higher and higher
concentration of gold, as it comes in contact with high grade solution.

Tank volume Leach tanks Carbon tanks


1 6 : 140 cubic metres 1;3;4;5;6 2 and 7

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7 17 : 80 cubic metres 8;9;11;12;13 10 and 14
18 : 180 cubic metres - 18
Process flow of ore at the CIP section

Water Storage
concrete tank
Clear water from
CIP

High Rate Thickener Tank 1 High Rate Thickener Tank 2


Flocculent : 1.5kg/hr Overflow from Tank 1
Liquid cyanide : 0.042 litres/sec Clear water
Hydrogen Peroxide : 5litres/hr

Leach Tank 1 Carbon Tank 2 Leach Tank 4 Leach Tank 5


Leach Tank 3
Addition of Production Tank Compressed Compressed
Positioned Sieve
oxygen Pump agitation air agitation air agitation
Bend
Compressed air Round blowers Compressed air
agitation around carbon agitation
retention screen

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Carbon Tank 10 Leach Tank 9 Leach Tank 8 Carbon Tank 7
Leach Tank 6
Pump agitation Compressed air Compressed Pump agitation
air agitation Compressed
Round blowers agitation Round blowers air agitation
around carbon around carbon
retention screens retention screen
Positioned carbon Positioned carbon
Tank 10 pump
transfer transfer pump

Tank 11

Leach Tank 11 Leach Tank 12 Leach Tank 13


Carbon Tank 14
Compressed air Compressed air Compressed air
agitation agitation Pump agitation
agitation
Round blowers around
carbon retention screens
Positioned carbon transfer
pump

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Leach Tank 17 Leach Tank 16 Leach Tank 15
Carbon Tank 18
Compressed air Compressed air Compressed air
Pump agitation agitation
agitation agitation
Round blowers around
carbon retention screens
Positioned carbon transfer
pump
Positioned sieve bend

Carbon movement

Tank 18
Tank 2
2 tonnes
barren carbon Production tank
Tank 14 Tank 10 Tank 7 Loaded carbon
from elution
2 hours
receiving time

ELUTION
The final loaded carbon is removed by pumping out of the production tank 2, via a sieve bend on
tank 3 and trommel screen on tank 11, and transferred to the elution section where it pours into
the receiving hopper up to a marked 2 tonne level for 2 hours. It is soaked in Hydrochloric Acid
before undergoing elution or deposition of gold cyanide at high temperatures and pH. The elution
of loaded carbon is obtained by using a pressure elution of 2 bars at 120 0C in 6-8 hours. The rich
eluate solution that emerges from the elution process is passed through electro winning cells
where gold and other metals are precipitated onto the cathodes.

Process flow of carbon and eluate solution at the Elution section

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Carbon Receiving Acid wash column Elution Column
Hopper 2.8m3 of the 3 % acid solution Carbon transfer into column : 25
Acid pump into column : 10 mins
2 tonne level marked in mins
red Cold cycle at 2 bars: 15 min
Acid soak : 1hr Hot cycle to 120 : 1hr 30mins
2 hours receiving time
Acid drain : 5min Caustic - Cyanide pump : 30 mins
Caustic soda pump : 10min Caustic - Cyanide soak : 1 hr

High Grade Tank 2B High Grade Tank 1A


High Grade Tank 3C
Low grade solution Solution samples of eluant
Filled with barren Takes 3 hrs to fill are obtained from discharge
solution after every 30 mins untill tank is
electrowinning tank 2B Continuation of obtaining elution solution
samples every 30 mins full.
Barren solution is later on Takes 3 hrs to fill
used to wash the next 4 Repeat solution samples are obtained during
the cold cycle after elution Solution samples of
elution electrowinning are obtained
Continuation of obtaining electrowinning
solution samples every 2 hrs every 2 hrs after tank is full
HGC 2B solution sample is taken when closing
electrowinning

Elution Plant Operations

Reagents prepared are 3% hydro chloric acid, caustic soda solution and high cyanide strength
solution.
Two tonnes of Carbon is transferred from the carbon receiving hopper to the acid wash tank
by pumping using water.
2.8m3 of the 3 % acid solution is pumped from the bottom of the acid wash tank through the
carbon bed and over flows into a recovery sump. Carbon is soaked in acid for 1 hour to
remove in-organic foulants.

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Spent acid is drained from the bottom of the acid wash tank and caustic soda solution is
pumped from the bottom of the acid wash tank to neutralize residual acid remaining after the
acid wash cycle.
Treated 2 tonnes of carbon is transferred to the elution column by pumping using water.
The elution column loaded with carbon is pressured using cold water 2 bars and pre heating
using boiler steam is done to elevate temperatures to 120C.
2.8 m3 of Caustic cyanide solution is pumped from the bottom of the Elution column through
the bed of carbon. The overflow from the elution column as a result of pumping the caustic
cyanide solution is transferred to high grade tank 1A.
After transferring all the caustic cyanide solution into the elution column, carbon is soaked
for one and half hours at a temperature of 120C and a pressure of 2 bars.
Low grade strength recycled water (from HGC 3B) is pumped from the bottom of the elution
column to strip high grade mineral value from carbon. Carbon is fluidized and suspended in
solution by maintaining a solution flow rate of 2 bed volumes and the resultant overflow is
transferred into high grade tanks HGC1A and HGC2B.
High grade solution is immediately pumped to the electro-winning circuit when the stripping
process commences. After filling the two high grade tanks, a third tank is also filled in
preparation for the next elution (low grade strength solution). 30 minutes before end of the
elution cycle, the steam is switched off and a cold cycle strip is done (that is, striping using
cold water for 30 minutes).
The elution and electro wining process is carried out ensuring critical operating parameters
are within range, that is, a working pressure of 2 bars, working temperatures of 120 0 C and
flow rates of 2 bed volumes for the elution process and flow rates of 20m 3/h, a working
voltage in the range of 4-6 V and current in the range of 350-500 A for electro winning
process.
Hazards associated with elution and electro winning include:

i. Chemical spills v. Suffocation, to (caustic-cyanide


ii. Pressure vessels- Respiratory effects fumes)
explosions and Fatalities due vi. Steam &Heat stress
iii. Ground flooding (boiler steam)
iv. Air pollution vii. Electrocution

TAILINGS DISPOSAL
Pulp from the last tank 18 gravitates to the tailings thickener were it is dosed with ferrous
sulphate at a rate of 0.4kg/t to neutralise residual cyanide in the pulp.
The tailings attendant checks the high pressure pump and tailings bank pumps whether they
are in good operational condition. There are 2 banks B and C running consisting of 4 pumps

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per bank and 1 spare bank A used in case of emergencies, however currently bank A is not
functional as some pumps are not available.
The tailings attendant also checks the quality of water used for running the high pressure
pump in terms of clarity and open the water supply valves to the high pressure pump.
The tailings attendant starts the high pressure pump and the operating pressure for the Curo
pump should be in the range of 1500-1700 kpa before starting the banks.
After the required pressure for the high pump is achieved, the tailings attendant starts up the
banks. On starting the bank, the tailings attendant start by starting the first pump (pump
number 1) which is connected to the thickener discharge pipe followed by the preceding
pump up-to the last which is the fourth pump. The fourth pump is connected to the tailings
dam delivery line.
A plug is then inserted on the suction of the pumps which is before pump number 1 (drain
plug) and feed valve (thickener discharge valve) is opened to allow flow of pulp into the
pumps.
The tailings attendants hourly checks and records the amperage for the running banks and
Curo pump pressure. The operating amperages for the running bank(s) pumps should be in
the range of 30-35 Amps. If one the pumps operating amperage falls below the standard
operating amperage then the bank is immediately stopped and the pump is inspected. If all
the pumps operating amperage falls below the standard operating amperage then the bank is
immediately stopped and the delivery line to tailings dam is inspected. A stand by bank is
left running and if the running bank is not coping up with the pulp inflow resulting in the
thickener filling up ,the plant is immediately stopped to prevent spilling of pulp from the
thickener. Corrective action is taken to correct the anomaly.
When shutting down the tailings plant, the tailings attendant stops the first pump and all the
pumps would stop immediately as they are interlocked. Pulp would back flow back into the
thickener and the pumps would be stationery after all the pulp in the delivery line has been
cleared through back flow. The attendant would then close the feed valve and removes the
drain plug.
Finally the high pressure pump is stopped and all water valves supplying water to the high
pressure pump are closed.
In case of emergence the tailings attendant allows the pulp to back flow into the thickener
before closing the feed valve and removing the drain plug. The CIP supervisor ensures that
the emergency pump near the emergence ponds is operating well and the drainages feeding
the emergence pond are clear or not blocked.

Tailings Dam 5

Pulp with densities between 20-25 % solids are pumped from the tailings plant by a series of
pumps on banks A and B ,via a conveyance of HDPE pipes.
Cyclones are mounted at the discharge ends of the pipes from B- Bank. Cyclone performance
is influenced by the feed slurry density. The underflow solids are used to construct the outer
embankment (dam wall) and the cyclone overflow gravitates along the beach towards the
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return water pool. The cyclone underflow is mainly coarse material with an average
percentage solid of 80% and overflow contains average percentage solids of 20%.
Water from the cyclone overflow is temporarily contained in the pool which is centralised in
the dam and is pumped back to the plant for recycle/re-use. A free board of 9m is maintained
and a slope of 33 on the dam wall is maintained.
Pulp from C-Bank is discharged during paddock construction or bypassed to discharge in the
beach.
Under-drains were installed during initial bench constructions and they contains clear water
which is collected at the seepage pond. Water from the seepage pond is recycled back to the
dam for irrigation and suppression of dust on the dam wall. An automated pump is used to
pump seepage water.
The under-drains flow-rate are measured on a daily basis and the results logged.
The tailings facility has storm water drains around so as to contain and prevent all the storm
water from entering the dam.
Duties of the TSF supervisor include
1. Ensuring that all wall building, repairs of rat holes, erosion and gullies is done.
2. Measuring and logging the progress length on the dam wall
3. Ensuring that the catwalks are stable and are not damaged. Catwalks are constructed by
filling in empty lime bags with sand.
4. Inspection to ensure that the berm is maintained at 7m and the wall slope is maintained at
33. The dam wall is constructed until the vertical height is 9m and next wall has to be
constructed with the same parameters.
5. To inspect and check for any leaks along the delivery line and comments on the status of the
lines at the end of the shift and any deviations are corrected immediately.

Crest marker poles/ Datum poles are installed at the dam wall berms to measure elevation,
total free board and vertical free board. Currently there are 17 crest marker poles around the
dam wall approximately 40m apart, 10 basin marker poles in the beach and a center marker
pole in the pool/pond.
Dam 5 is 39Ha big and managed by the Fraser Alexander company based in South Africa
which has got great expertise in tailings management.

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The cycloned dam wall is currently on bench 5. Cyclones A and B are used and connected to
the B-Bank delivery line.
5 under drain pipes were installed and discharge into the seepage pond
Phreatic levels are measured by a piezometer/ dip meter from the installed piezo pipes on a
monthly basis and weekly or daily in the rainy season.
Rehabilitation is in progress and it involves planting trees to avoid soil erosion.

PADDOCK SYSTEM

Paddocking is another way of dam wall construction which is currently in progress at the western
side of the dam opposite the cyclone dam wall. It involves mostly manual work compared to
cycloning and raises the dam wall at a much slower rate than the cycloning systems. Two
rectangle paddocks A and B are under construction, with A being 55m by 13m and B is
50m*13m .

1. The 1st stage is packing. This involves construction of boundary mounds of 30cm height, 33
slopes and a crest width of 50cm to form a rectangle of length 50m and width 13. Butter
boards are used to maintain angle of slope.
2. The 2nd stage is tipping. Pulp is discharged into the packed paddock pool from C-Bank
delivery lines. The off take valve with a connected armored hose is opened and the main line
valve is closed. Close monitoring of tipping pulp is observed to avoid packing failure and
pulp spillage.
3. The 3rd stage is decanting. Decant pipes are installed at the beach side crest of the packed
mound strongly secured by burying one end into the packing and leaving the other end to
discharge into the beach. As slime level rises in the packed pool, water is removed/ decanted
into the beach and flows to the pond.
4. The last stage involves leaving the slime now level with the packing to dry off whilst
repeating the above stages in construction of the adjoining paddock. High consolidation pulp
is preferred as it dries faster. When the paddock ground has stabilized, the paddock is raised
by packing, tipping, decanting and drying to the next level.

Hazards associated with tailings disposal at Dam 5 include:

i. Dust iv. Pipe bursts viii. Snakes, bees, wild


ii. Uneven ground v. Pulp splashes animals
iii. Working at heights/ vi. High temperatures ix. Lightning
steep slopes vii. Effluent water x. Seepage/ Dam failure

OBSERVATIONS and CHALLENGES


1. The crushing and milling plants were covered in ore piles due to excessive ore spillage from
moving conveyor belts. More time is spent conducting housekeeping than the usual 30
minutes prior to the shift end. This becomes an ergonomic hazard posing a risk back pains
and muscle strain.

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2. Ore received from underground is usually wet, and results in problems such as
2.1 Screen blinding Over feeding the crusher Choking crusher Reduced
crusher efficiency Slow crushing rate
2.2 Increased resultant weight of ore increased belt load frequent belt failures
2.3 Decreased crushing rates from 55 tonnes/hour to 40-45 tonnes/hour no storage of
ore in the Fine Ore Bins breakdown in crushing section will stop the whole plant
2.4 Blocking of discharge chutes in the FOB decreased milling rates failure to
meet production targets
3. Mixing of ore from fine ore bins and crushing plant housekeeping distorted the feed ore size
to the primary mill resulting in poor milling efficiencies and poor overall grind.
4. Poor grind from the ball mills affects cyclone efficiency and particle classification ,
consequently densities are increased and carbon adsorption is reduced.
5. Tailings dam construction was also affected due to the poor grind from the milling plant and
currently cyclones are not in use since they require finely ground slimes for efficient
classification.
6. Flactuating milling rates affect cyanide dosing for the leaching process as it is supposed to be
according to the milling rate, for example 0.042 litres/ sec of cyanide for 48tonnes/hr milling.
Lack of communication between milling and high rate attendants on the current milling rates
results in higher or lower cyanide levels in pulp and poor carbon adsorption.
7. Lack of functional pump agitators on leach tanks 1;3;4;5;6;8;9;11;12;13;15;16 and 17, results
in slime settling at the bottom of the tank reducing the useful tank volume, also settled slime
may trap carbon and carbon tonnage is reduced.
8. The acid wash pump was not functional and acid reagent mixing and soaking was being done
in the receiving hopper which is sub-standard and hazardous.
9. Some pipes at the elution section have deteriorated and contain leakages, such that water and
chemical solutions leak to the floor causing flooding of grounds, air and land pollution.
10. The flocculent pump at the high rate thickener was not functional; the flocculent mixing tank
is in bad shape, flocculent solution spills to the ground as it is transferred to the DTV pump
which pumps it into the thickener. The ground is slippery and hazardous to the attendants.
More time is spent attempting to clean the ground with pressurized water, however it
becomes tedious since the flocculent spill is continuous.
11. The super flow tank at the tailings section has no functional agitator, slimes were
continuously settling in the tank and now the tank volume has been greatly reduced, if pulp
too dense is to be sent to the disposal facility, cyclones will be affected and delivery pipes
will be choked, which in turn will lead to the whole plant shutting down.
RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Underground water should be controlled to avoid mixing and wetting ore to be hoisted to
surface, if attempts fail, hoisted ore should be tipped and stored at the stock pile until it has
dried enough to be sent for crushing.
2. Production operations underground should be increased to produce enough ore to store at the
stock pile and feed the crushing section, this will in turn mean ore will be excess enough to

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store in the fine ore bins and any kind of break down at the crushing section will not stop the
milling plant, ore processing will continue up until the break down has been resolved.
3. Ore obtained from housekeeping operations at the crushing plant should not be sent to the
milling plant but instead be re-introduced into the crushing circuit for efficient size reduction.
Also ore obtained from housekeeping operations at the milling plant should be re-introduced
into the primary mill.
4. Procurement of functional agitators is vital to avoid slimes from settling below the tanks. At
one point each tank at a time should be emptied and checked for settled slime and cleaned so
as to maintain the tank volume and improve leaching and carbon adsorption.
5. A telephone should be installed at the high rate thickener bay to enable quick and easy
communication with the milling crew, to avoid overdosing or under dosing cyanide into the
pulp.
6. Procurement of functional flocculent pump and re-installing flocculent mixing tank to enable
a good flow of flocculent into the high rate thickener tank and to avoid spillages and
flocculent wastage.
7. Procurement of a functional acid pump is vital again to promote standard operations and
control hazards associated with Hydrochloric acid use.
8. Leaking pipes at the elution section should be removed and replaced with new efficient ones
to avoid chemical spills, air and ground pollution.
9. The settled slime in the tailings super flow tank should be washed in with lots of pressurized
water bit by bit until all of it is removed, careful enough not to introduce chunks of mud into
the delivery lines as this will choke the lines. During the cleaning out process dilution water
should be introduced at the inlet to the discharge line.
10. Bank A pumps should be repaired and replaced to keep them available for the spare line in
cases of emergency.

SIGNATORIES
Author (Angel Brito).
Training Officer (Mr T.Chokera)
Senior Training Officer (Mr E.Damiso)
Head of Department (Mr E.Gwatidzo)..

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