Sie sind auf Seite 1von 21

Installation and Optimization of a Gravity Circuit at Northgate Minerals Kemess Mine

Eliab Roman Kemess Mines Michael Fullam Knelson Gravity Solutions

Northgate Minerals Kemess Mine


52,000 tpd copper gold mine located north in Northern British Columbia Copper 75 million lbs/year Gold 300,000 ounces/yr

Northgate Minerals Kemess Mine


Two main ore types Supergene, high copper/native copper ore

Hypogene, copper sulphide ore

Hypogene ore
High pyrite hypogene ore starting to be processed
Low is 3-5 pyrite ratio, typical 4 high is 5-15, typical 7

This will also be similar to Kemess North ore, which is an identified new resource This ore is fine grained, and requires fine regrind size to liberate chalcopyrite from pyrite.

This causes losses of free gold in cleaner circuit

2005 AMTEL Mineralogy Study


Change in ore caused high losses of fine free gold in cleaner scavenger tails Free gold mostly <10 microns Could these losses be reduced with the addition of a gravity circuit?

Gold Deportment in Cleaner-Scav Tails

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Rock Rock- Free Pyrite Free Gold Sulphide Middlings Hypogene High Py Hypogene

Data required for determination of gravity recovery


Target stream was the regrind cyclone underflow Model gravity recovery in regrind
Common to model gravity recovery in primary circuits Never been done in regrind

Modelling gravity recovery


Ore Classification GRG unit recovery

Samples sent to Knelson


Rougher concentrate Cyclone feed, underflow, and overflow

GRG of the Rougher Concentrate


GRG Test of the rougher concentrate Two stage test
Process as is Grind to p80 of 38 microns, same as regrind circuit
100

Recovery % Cumulative GRG Value (%) Cumulative

100
80

90

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3


Stage 1 Stage 1+2

80
60 50 60 40 30 40 20 10 20 0

70

010 10

100

1000

Particle Size (microns)

100

1000

Particle Size, m

Classification
GRG Recovery to Underflow (%)

Samples of cyclone streams for GRG determination GRG partition curve calculated Curve showed unusual shape at fine sizes Likely sample processing issues

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 10 100 Particle Size (microns) 1000

Measured Corrected

GRG Unit Recovery Problem 1


No hard data on Knelsons operating in regrind Different from primary applications
Fine GRG Fine gangue High sg gangue Large amounts of pyrite (concentrate bed erosion)

Need data
Pilot or full scale?

Gravity Recovery
Initial modelling using assumed Knelson unit reocvery showed good potential for meaningful gravity recovery, but.
The goal was not simply to recover gold by gravity, it was to reduce losses in cleaner scavenger tails by using gravity To quantify benefit, need full scale installation

Decision made to install single Knelson XD-30 VG on trial Very modest installation costs
No pumping Add gravity con to final con Structure required to support concentrator (~$250,000)

Optimization Program
Large Optimization program carried out jointly by Kemess and Knelson
Cone style (six cones styles tested) Fluidisation water flow (low to high) Cycle time (5-15 minutes) G force (60-150) Feed density (undiluted/diluted) Feed rate (38-134 mtph)

Results - Optimization Program


Best parameters
Short cycle times Low range of fluidisation water flow High g force (~150g)
40 35

Unit GRG Recovery (%)

30 25 20 15 10 5 10 100 Particle Size (microns) 1000 Test 29 - 10 minute Test 31 - 5 minute Test 25 - 10 minute

Of the operating parameters, cycle time most dominant

Results Cone Styles


Generation 7 Cone
Fully fluidised, high mass yield Low water flow
45 40 35 Test 22 - G7 150 g Test 21 -G7 90g

Unit GRG Recovery (%)

30 25

Test 24-G5

Test 25-G5 20 15 10 5 Test 29-G5 10 100 Particle Size (microns) 1000 Test 30-G5 Test 26-G5

Test 28-G5

Gravity Recovery
Gravity Circuit Operating Conditions One XD-30 operating with G7 cone, and fully optimized Treating 40-50 mpth (~25% of CUF)

Gravity recovery of ~10% of total gold (to regrind)

Gravity Recovery
Why regrind, and not the primary circuit? Kemess primary circuit, modeled recovery in 2003: Four XD-48s at 300-400 mtph each Four 6 x 16 screens Pumping Capital investment of several $M 5-9% recovery by gravity The advantage of being able to model recovery

Gravity Recovery Benefit


Knelson on/Knelson Off trials
Two sets of on/off trials Each set consisted of multiple days of Knelson on/Knelson off, with samples of rougher con and cleaner-scavenger tails collected

Preliminary Results
1.0-1.8% overall gold recovery benefit at 10% gravity recovery (by assay) Ore dependent (higher pyrite, higher benefit) 2,700-5,000 ounces/yr $1.7-3.0 M/year, but shipping penalty of ~$300k/year for additional concentrate produced, which is added to final copper concentrate Rapid payback

Quantify Recovery Benefit


Characterize gold in cleaner-scav tails, with and without gravity
Knelson lab unit AMTEL, mineralogy

Results pending

Cycle Time the down side


Shorter is better, but Produces more con Pollutes the copper con Costs money to ship

Cycle Time Remedies


Grade biased to fines Gangue biased to coarse Top 50% mass accounts for 5% gold distribution SCREENING
Microns 1700 1180 850 600 425 300 212 150 106 75 53 38 25 -25 Total Knelson 30" Conc Wt % Au g/t %Dist'n Au 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.8 6.1 12.9 25.7 32.9 14.3 2.5 1.7 100.0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 1.1 3.9 10.4 21.4 17.4 45.6 100.0

Mass (g)

14.9 23.9 51.0 101.6 130.0 56.5 9.8 6.9 394.6

1.58 3.24 7.62 13.66 28.6 136 638 2373 90.9

THANK YOU