Heap Leaching at Camel Creek Mine

Menne D M, ; Ladyman R,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Camel Creek Mine operated by Lynch Mining Pty Ltd is located 65 km west of inghain and 160 kin north west of Townsville in North Queensland. (Figure 1). The Camel Creek gold mineralisation was discovered in mid-1987 in an area previously known for its tin workings. Mining commenced in January 1989 after an oxide reserve of 1.2 million tonnes @ 2.1 g/t gold had been delineated. The first gold pour was in May 1989. The mine developed into a medium sized open cut operation, with full site facilities. The initial mining rate was 500 000 tpa utilising run-of-mine (ROM) heap leaching to recover the gold. By the end of 1990 the wider orehodies were mined and efforts were focused on the narrow orebodies, of width typically less than three metres. Smaller earth moving equipment was employed to selectively mine the narrow orehodies leading to a decrease in the mining rate to 200 000 tpa. The Red Gold deposit (80 000 tonnes « 3.0 g/t to 18 in vertical) was mined in mid-1990 and ore was hauled approximately 8 kin to the Camel Creek heap leach operation. The ore was hauled in a dedicated campaign after being stockpiled. The cost of dedicated ore haulage ensured that only the more exceptional of the remote orebodies could be mined in this manner. The Golden Cup orebody, some 20 km from Camel Creek, was too distant to permit ore haulage. However, this prospect contained sufficient gold (initially 90 000 tonnes @ 3.0 g/t) to warrant the installation of a small mobile adsorption facility. Construction of the second heap leach operation commenced in late-1990. Gold production commenced in early April 1991. Mining of several smaller orebodies remote to the second heap leach facility has been undertaken and further mining is planned. This paper outlines heap leaching practice at Camel Creek Mine and summarises the success of the Golden Cup heap leach.
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