The recent crash in the gold price has placed operators and explorers in a difficult position, needing to increase discoveries and production but without the market support necessary to fund the required work. The pressure on operators generated by the declining gold price has led a number of higher cost operations to shut down and even lower cost operations requiring significant cost savings to maintain returns.
In the May issue of International Mining, John Chadwick has written an article, the Midas Mission, looking at ideas and technologies to get the most out of the worlds gold deposits in difficult times. The article explores a number of areas where operations can increase efficiency of gold extraction or achieve cost reductions. The article examines advances in processing technologies from continuous gravity separation to leaching and refractory gold treatment by providers such as Gekko Systems, Sepro Mineral Systems, Xstrata and FLDSmidth.
What the article highlights is that advances in processing efficiency are still occurring and many different options are available for operations to get more from their process. To understand how these advances can be best implemented examining the process mineralogy of feed material is an essential piece of the puzzle. MinAssist’s, Dr Will Goodall, explains in the article how ‘efficient running and optimisation of a gold processing plant requires a deep understanding of the material characteristics”. This is a fundamental driver in defining what technology is most appropriate for the ore to be processed and an ongoing program of process mineralogical evaluation can greatly assist in the efficient recovery of gold.
Dr Goodall examines the tools available to undertake efficient process mineralogical analysis for gold operations and discusses how by using these tools operations can move from a reactive approach to process troubleshooting to a diagnostic and manageable approach that saves time and money, leading to a smoother more cost effective operation.
You can find the article ‘Midas Mission’ in International Mining, May edition or download it here and we would encourage you to have a look and consider some of the technologies highlighted in the article.
For further information on how process mineralogical analysis can be used to reduce costs and increase efficiency in your gold operation feel free to contact Dr Will Goodall for a complimentary assessment.