The world's gold production has changed over the past 30 years.
The exploration and discovery of large, free-milling gold deposits in major mining districts has declined. Mining companies face a difficult decision. Do they process large, low-grade deposits or look for smaller, often more complex ones in remote, often hard-to-reach locations? To complicate matters further, these ore bodies are often refractory, where the gold is locked within sulphide minerals; or double refractory, in which gold is locked within sulphide minerals and preg-robbing due to the presence of organic carbon. These must be pretreated ahead of leaching.
In recent years, the industry has adjusted its mining methods from those needed for high-grade underground deposits to those for low-grade, open-pit, polymetallic deposits. Meanwhile, large free-milling gold operations are seeing their deposits become more refractory.
Between the size and complexity of the ore bodies and the remote locations, mining companies now need a better understanding of the mineralogy and benefits of different extraction options. Today, they're opting to reduce spending on the development of new mineral deposits. They're focusing their investments on optimizing existing mines and production facilities. We can help.
Process development and design
Today's process-design and implementation methods call for proven, innovative approaches, which deliver value through progressive phases of the project's life cycle.
Studies and engineering services
Front-end-loaded engineering, combined with client collaboration from the earliest phases of the project, ensures that technical decisions and designs are sound, and the optimum economic option is selected.
Comminution, gravity separation, and flotation
A technical design team with experience in all the comminution technologies used in crushing, conveying, grinding, gravity-gold separation, and classifying is extremely valuable. With an increase in complex polymetallic deposits, a team experienced in flotation across a wide range of minerals can drive the success of a project.
Refractory gold ore pretreatment
Treatment of refractory gold ore (whole ore and flotation concentrates) has become more prominent since the 1980s, with many gold discoveries often including ores that are wholly or partially refractory. Refractory pre-treatment processes include pressure oxidation, biological oxidation and various forms of roasting. Design teams familiar with all three pretreatment processes can maximize a project's value.
Gold recovery and refining
Companies need successful recovery methods that drive profits. Design teams with extensive experience in cyanide-in-leach (CIL), cyanide-in-pulp (CIP), carbon elution, carbon activation— in addition to newer thiosulfate leaching and regeneration processes—can enhance gold recovery and profitability.
Equipment design and specification
A mining company’s bottom line can be significantly improved by proper design and process equipment selection. Our patented equipment designs have enabled and enhanced operations, maintenance, and the availability of units for specific process operations all over the world.