Mintek-BacTech?s Bacterial-Oxidation Technology For Refractory Gold Concentrates: Beaconsfield And Beyond

Neale, J. W.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Mintek and BacTech have joined forces to provide the metallurgical industry with bacterial-oxidation processes for the treatment of sulphide ores. The processes are aimed at both refractory gold-bearing and base-metal concentrates. Previously, BacTech had commercially implemented the refractory gold process at the Youanmi Gold Mine in Western Australia. More recently, the process has been incorporated in the Sulphide Treatment Plant at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania, Australia. In addition, Mintek and BacTech have recently signed an agreement with the Laizhou Gold Metallurgy Plant in China?s Shandong Province, which will see the third commercial realization of the technology for refractory gold. Development of the base-metal technology is the subject of several papers in the proceedings of this colloquium. The implementation of the refractory gold technology at Beaconsfield is discussed in detail. Some important aspects that are covered include: ?Test work, and the choice of bacterial culture ?Process design choices, and the advantages of the Mintek-BacTech process ?Inoculum build-up ?Plant commissioning ?Plant performance. Besides the Laizhou project, Mintek and BacTech are currently investigating several other commercial prospects for the technology. These include the use of the technology for a gold-copper deposit, where the production of both gold and copper is envisaged.
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