Designing and constructing a pilot plant for maximising gold recovery from tailings waste
Stantec was asked to undertake the engineering design, procurement, and construction of a 22 tank, 2.5-tonne stainless steel pilot plant for gold leach and adsorption testwork in Queensland, and then ship it to the project location overseas.
Our job? To develop the client’s initial design brief into a commissioned pilot plant that could maximise gold recovery from tailings waste. The plant would trial back-end recovery of a new flotation tailings stream through the existing gold plant. The client wanted to understand whether the existing carbon-in-leach circuit, a part of the gold extraction process, had the additional capacity to accept flotation material and recover sufficient gold.
The initial build timeline was very short—a three-month build for operation in March 2020. This required clever logistics as barge freight can take up to eight weeks to arrive.
Our unconventional pump and piping design allowed a continuous slurry stream of approximately 97 ml/min to be forwarded to the adsorption tanks. The pilot plant was a success and will likely be used at other sites belonging to the client once the initial trial campaign is completed.
With this successful test case, our client will be able to replicate this tailings waste recovery solution—maximising gold collection efficiency.
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