The ever increasing trend of the gold price has meant that ore deposits that were previously considered too complex, or unattractive by virtue of their low gold grade, are now being investigated more closely. These ore deposits present a greater risk of failure than previously was the case. To ensure that the risk of project failure is reduced and the maximum value is derived from the deposit, its mineralogy, as well as other characteristics, should be well understood such that the optimum process can be designed.
Quite often the flowsheet design is assembled using individual process components, from various sources, and without consideration of the complete system. Testwork programs require careful planning and an open viewpoint in terms of comminution circuit design particularly with respect to ever increasing power costs across the globe. As an example, HPGR technology in many cases, offers better mineral liberation than the more traditional comminution devices and it does so at a reduced energy input, and yet HPGR testwork is often restricted in its scope.
In the paper the authors outline a typical HPGR testwork process route driven by the needs of different ore types and illustrate that to optimise the project value, any testwork programme should start from the premise that thorough understanding of the ore is vital.
This paper is available as part of the proceedings of WorldGold2013