Ore Sorting of Low-Grade Gold Sulphide Deposits

Lutke von Ketelhodt, L. Kotelo, N. Schmalbein

49th Annual Conference of Metallurgists, Vancouver, Canada, August 27-30, 2017.


Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM) is focused on building a sustainable, low impact, innovative, high-margin mining company in British Columbia’s Cariboo mining district. Of the 212,000 HA mineral rights, three principal project areas are being developed into producing mines. The first producing mine site is Bonanza Ledge. During 2017, the underground mining operation will commence. The ore will be trucked the 120 km hauling distance to BGM’s fully permitted mill and tailings facility, QR Mill. A large PAG stock pile of 331,814 tons at a grade of 0.8 g/t had been left by the previous owners/operators of Bonanza Ledge. As a production start-up phase it was decided to mine and upgrade this PAG pile to 3.5 g/t using a Steinert XRT sorter.

Initial sorting test work has shown good results using dual-energy x-ray sensor system. Gold-bearing sulfides in the calcareous siltstone have a distinctly stronger x-ray absorption pattern than the waste rocks consisting mainly of carbonaceous/green pelite. During January 2017, a Steinert XRT sorter was installed and commissioned, operating at 70 to 100 t/h and generating a concentrate ore of 3.5–4 g/t at 20% mass recovery. The paper outlines details of this project and production results of sorting project.


CEEC acknowledges and thanks the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Metallury and Materials Society (MetSoc) and organising committee for organising the COM 2017 Conference of Metallurgists hosting World Gold and Nickel-Cobalt.

Abstracts can be found at the CIM website (http://web.cim.org/com2017/conference/SessionPapers.cfm#).

Full papers published in the Conference Proceedings will be available on onemine.org, and CEEC directs readers to http://www.onemine.org/ to access and purchase published papers.