Metallurgical Process Development of Gold and Platinum

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
The gold industry has been revolutionized in the last decade by market forces and technological changes. The latter are discussed in this paper, with particular emphasis on carbon-in-pulp (CIP) and heap leaching. The nature and scope of the process development aspects of a gold project are considered, and factors which determine process decisions are outlined, including the choice of CIP versus carbon-in-leach (CIL), agitated leaching versus heap leaching and treatment of ores containing copper and silver. Likely directions for development of gold processing in general are discussed, and metallurgical process options for treatment of ores of platinum group metals (PGM) are outlined.Metallurgical process development for gold and platinum group metals proceeds through a number of well defined stages, with input from various disciplines and information sources. The orientation phase will include preparation of a general project overview; careful consideration of the issue of sampling and sample preparation; characterisation of the resource in terms of ore types, mineralogy, chemical composition; development of appropriate methodology; and development of an understanding of the potential metallurgical unit operations.The process definition phase will be-'directed to development and definition of a notional process flowsheet, and will include identification and appraisal of process options; development of, notional process flowsheets; testing of flowsheets against ore types; ranking of flowsheets; initial engineering, including preliminary mass balances, equipment selection and plant layout; and broad-brush economic appraisal.
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