Gold and precious metals form the core of MinAssist’s expertise. We have extensive experience in evaluation and processing of both free milling and refractory gold, with a focus on gold mineralogy and its impact on processing. The gold industry is global with mining on every continent, except Antarctica and production being geographically diverse. Overall levels of mine production have grown significantly over the last decade, although this has been accompanied by steadily decreasing grades. Substantial new discoveries are increasingly rare and production levels are increasingly constrained.

Gold production is achieved using a diverse range of mineral processing circuits, with the most suitable primarily driven by the gold mineralogy, form and deportment. Historically, production by gravity concentration dominated. In the 1970’s and 1980’s development of the Carbon-in-Pulp (CIP) and Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) processes greatly improved the recovery of fine gold. More recently refractory gold projects have become increasingly important, resulting in more complex flow sheets.

The driving factor in development of an efficient gold process flowsheet is to understand the deportment of gold and its grain size. Typically, gold occurs as native gold but processing is driven by the host mineralogy. Gold with grain size greater than 0.15mm can be readily recovered using gravity concentration. As the grain size decreases the liberation of gold from its host minerals becomes increasingly important. Refractory gold ore exhibits recovery by cyanide leaching of <70% and when this occurs flowsheets including pressure oxidation, roasting and bio-oxidation must be considered, with the most appropriate defined by the host mineralogy.

An important source of gold is as a by-product of copper production. MinAssist specialises in optimising recovery of gold as a by-product from copper circuits.


  • Sampling
  • Mineralogical analysis
  • Metallurgical test work management
  • Process flow sheet development
  • Process simulation
  • Process audits and due diligence
  • Optimisation of recovery of gold as a by-product
  • Tailings reprocessing
  • Flowsheet balancing
  • Process simulation

MinAssist's Projects

Gold Deportment

– Altyntau Gold Mine, Kazzinc, Kazakhstan
– Kansanshi Copper-Gold Mine, First Quantum Minerals, Zambia
– Spence Copper Mine, BHP, Chile
– Cadia East Copper-Gold Mine, Newcrest Ltd, Australia

By Product Optimisation

– Kansanshi Copper-Gold Mine, First Quantum Minerals, Zambia

By Product Recovery Model

– Spence Copper Mine, BHP, Chile

How can we help you?

  • Leading experts in gold mineralogy and metallurgy
  • Specialising in understanding the form and deportment of gold to provide better targeted solutions
  • Refractory gold ores are our specialty. We have worked with a wide range of gold hosts and understand the optimum flow sheet configuration for a given mineralogy

Articles and resources: