Process development metallurgical studies for gold cyanidation process
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing
, 2016, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 161-171
In recent years the gold mining industry has been challenged by declining metal prices as well as having to treat ores that have low grades and are refractory in nature. Many factors must be considered when metallurgical studies are designed to develop process design criteria for these type of ores. These factors are mostly related to the mineralogical and chemical compositions of the ores, the geological setting of the deposit and how the ore/waste will be mined, such as whether openpit or underground, the mine schedule, and the mine fleet type and capacity. The purpose of this paper is to provide an experience-based practical approach to how to select and characterize test samples as well as devise process development metallurgical studies for both oxide and refractory gold ores, and to provide insight into some of the matters that might go wrong during the course of the studies. This paper is intended as both a guide for someone new to the field and also as a reminder for those familiar with the field.