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Upgrading Low-grade Gold Ore Stockpiles by Preconcentration Using Ore Sorting – an Assessment of the Economic Impact and Viability

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Author A N Parry and G van Wyk
ID P201608021

Description

Sensor based automatic ore sorting technologies are used in the minerals industries to efficiently remove waste and submarginal grade material from crushed and screened run-of-mine (ROM) ore, producing a coarse (typically >10 mm) upgraded preconcentrate at an early stage in the mineral processing circuit. This avoids additional energy intensive downstream processing of this rejected component of the ROM feed, leading to lower unit operating costs and reduced tailings disposal volumes.

Test work on bulk low-grade gold ore stockpile samples from Central Norseman Gold Proprietary Limited has been conducted, indicating high gold recoveries as well as high material rejection rates. A financial model, based on these results, evaluates grade sensitivity and identifies a minimum stockpile grade for adequate financial returns. The base case modelling estimates that the ex-stockpile grade (including the fines bypassed fraction) can be more than doubled through ore sorting and that the project will be highly viable with strong cash flow generation at stockpile grades as low as 0.7 g/t gold. The modelling will enable the company to benchmark ore sorting options against stockpile reclaim and screening operations currently employed.

Citation:

Parry, A N and van Wyk, G, 2016. Upgrading Low-grade Gold Ore Stockpiles by Preconcentration Using Ore Sorting – an Assessment of the Economic Impact and Viability, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2016, pp 179–190 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).