Pre-concentration of precious metal and base metal ore types is becoming more relevant with the discovery, development and operation of many lower grade deposits around the world. The fluctuations in metal prices expose many mines to risks especially dealing with low and variable ore grades.
Pre-concentration, the process of concentrating the valuable metal into a smaller mass yield, effectively results in the introduction of higher feed grades to milling circuits. Gangue Rejection, the removal of lower S.G. waste rock from the circuit; not only results in higher downstream grades but also potentially removes harder, non-valuable mineral, providing significant power savings within the circuit. The pre-concentration or ‘gangue rejection’ process offers a number of benefits when considering the treatment of marginal ore deposits, especially if it can be performed at a coarse crush size; these benefits include a reduction of the operating costs and the feed of more metal units to the mill.
Gekko Systems has effectively utilized the Inline Pressure Jig (IPJ) to pre-concentrate the valuable metal, achieving high primary recoveries into a range of mass yields resulting in upgrade ratios between 2 and 10 times.
This paper explores: the benefits of pre-concentrating ‘marginal’ ore deposits prior to the milling circuit; the selective rejection of ore types that may affect either the recovery or comminution process; and also looks into the potential to effectively reduce the ‘cut-off’ grade when considering the mine planning process. Case studies of projects using the IPJ to pre-concentrate and reject gangue are also included.
Pre-concentration and gangue rejection provide the potential to develop marginal ore deposits, thus providing higher grades, less gangue and more metal at a lower operating cost to producers.
Keywords: pre-concentration, gangue rejection, liberation,
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