The Filblast Cyanidation Process
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1994
The Filblast Cyanidation Process incorporates the advantages of intense high shear mixing, high dissolved oxygen concentration and high pressure to achieve extremely rapid gold dissolution rates. This is made possible by the unique design of the Filblast gas shear reactor. The reactor is a rugged and compact in-line device. The outer casing is protected by a polyurethane coating and the internal parts are of wear resistant polymer. The largest unit built to-date has overall dimensions of 1200 mm length by 300 mm diameter and has a capacity of 150 dry tonnes per hour at 40 - 45 per cent solids. Service life at this throughput is at least three months. The process may further be applied to high temperature leaching of refractory gold ores or other metals. Wear resistant metal or ceramic materials would be employed for this duty. Four mines are currently employing the Filblast Process for treating a variety of ore types ranging from highly reactive, almost impossible to treat, pyrrhotite/arsenopyrite to deeply weathered clay ore which forms a highly viscous pulp. The effect of shear thinning has resulted in improved adsorption kinetics resulting in higher carbon loading and reduced soluble gold loss. Total tonnage treated is approximately four million. Operating costs which include leasing and maintenance charges for the Filblast and pump power costs are about 16 cents per tonne. This is equivalent to about ten per cent of savings. Laboratory scale units having capacities up to 30 litres/min are available for test work but laboratory testing techniques so far developed do not accurately reflect the oxygen and cyanide savings which have been achieved in the plant.