A Victorian gold mine and a regionally based mining equipment manufacturer have collaborated to develop sophisticated technologies to automate gold processing plants.
Since 2018 Stawell Gold Mine and Gekko Systems of Ballarat have installed new equipment and developed new processes to optimise processing.
SGM, owned by private equity group Arete Capital Partners, first installed a Gekko InLine Leach Reactor (pictured) and more recently a Gekko Carbon Scout carbon management system, according to the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).
“The collaboration between SGM and Gekko has been instrumental in developing the Carbon Scout technology.”
Arete’s CEO Campbell Olsen said: ‘It’s very important that we introduce the best technologies into the process plant and other areas of the mine to ensure that we are creating the optimum value from the operation.
“Gekko’s metallurgical experience and technologies are a great fit for our gold operation.”
The project provided a fully automated system that increased gold recoveries, while providing real-time data monitoring to replace manual monitoring systems.
Gekko’s ILR was the first modern commercialised technology for the application of intensive cyanidation, and has provided recovery benefits over traditional physical separation steps, such as using shaking tables.
The unit treats up to three tonnes of high-grade gravity concentrates per batch, achieving greater than 98 per cent recovery. It is contributing 40 per cent of total gold production at Stawell.
SGM and Gekko Systems installed a Carbon Scout in 2019 as a research and development project to assist in the development of an automated carbon management system.
The Carbon Scout has since been upgraded to include new X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology to determine gold in the process system.
SGM metallurgist Austell Lanyon said: “The ILR…provides us with an automated concentrate leaching system that ensures high recoveries at a very low operating cost.’
The Carbon Scout measures the carbon concentration in process circuits to an accuracy of plus or minus 0.5 grams of carbon per litre of pulp. hour.
The Carbon Scout was developed in conjunction with Dr Teresa McGrath MAusIMM and Adjunct Professor Bill Staunton FAusIMM from Curtin University.
Gekko Systems has licensed the technology from Curtin and is responsible for manufacturing, sales, ongoing development/capability and aftermarket support of the Carbon Scout.
This article is adapted from one published by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Picture: AusIMM/The Gekko InLine Leach Reactor at Stawell Gold Mine
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