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Process optimization of Mount Morgan gold tailing retreatment plant

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Author Parsons GJ and Hampshire MJ
ID P198601076

Description

The tailing retreatment project rated at 10 000 t/day commenced operations in October 1982. The operation consists of dredging, feed preparation, cyanide leaching and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) gold recovery followed by Zadra atmospheric stripping and electrowinning. For the first two years the operation was adversely affected by excessive cyanide consumption and low gold extraction. Investigations demonstrated that the very fine, or slime, fraction of the tailing was the dominant consumer of cyanide and dissolved oxygen. The plant flowsheet was subsequently modified by inclusion of 80 – 100 mm dia. cyclones for slimes separation and a 31 m dia. thickener for water recovery. Treatment of deslimed feed in the CIP plant has reduced sodium cyanide consumption from an average 1.85 kg/t to 1.15 kg/t. The reduced oxygen consumption by the CIP plant feed has resulted in higher dissolved oxygen levels, frequently reaching supersaturation after 4 to 5 h contact time. This has allowed much improved gold extraction from the existing CIP plant capacity. Gold extraction from the mixed pyritic siliceous tailing has improved from an average U prior to desliming to a current 57%. Investigations are continuing on the recovery of gold from the discarded slimes.