Process Mineralogy Today

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Category: Copper


A Brief Overview of In-situ Recovery (ISR)

 

Over the past few years there has been a renewed interest in in-situ recovery methods for metals (ISR). The concept of ISR is by no means new and has been used successfully in the past, especially in the recovery of uranium. CSIRO Waterford in Perth has been leading ISR research efforts in Australia. Along with international collaborators the industry is working towards more extensive application of ISR methods for commodities such as copper. This article is a brief overview of ISR methods and practical considerations for its application. ...

The use of trend based mineralogy in continuous process improvement

The analysis of daily composite samples forms the core component of any operational mineralogy program.  This provides a snapshot of the daily activity in the processing plant and will generate a step change in the level of understanding of the drivers for process performance as well as provide site personnel with a valuable tool for decision making.  To generate the maximum value from routine mineralogical data daily composite data can be used to create data trends over time in order to monitor process response, rather than just snapshots in time.

 

Figure 1 - Variation in copper mineralogy with time for flotation final concentrate from copper mine

Figure 1 – Variation in copper mineralogy with time for flotation final concentrate from copper mine

 

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Process mineralogy at the Hillside Cu-Au Project

Overhead view of Hillside Project

Overhead view of Hillside Project

At the March Technical Session held by the AusIMM Melbourne Branch I was fortunate to hear about developments in Rex Minerals’ (ASX:RXM) Hillside Cu-Au Project from their Chief Geologist, Patrick Say.

 

The Hillside Cu-Au Project, located within striking distance of Adelaide in South Australia was discovered in 2008-2009 and since then a Resource of 330Mt @ 0.8% Cu(eq) has been defined and 120Mt @0.77% Cu(eq) converted into Reserves.  Rex Minerals completed a pre-feasibility study in October 2012 and are progressing with development of a 15Mtpa processing facility to produce a proposed 70,000 tonnes of Cu and 50,000oz of gold, along with a sweetener of 1.2Mtpa of magnetite.  This will all be done for a C1 cash operating cost of US$1.2/lb Cu (Eq), which is very impressive.

 

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