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Gekko Systems’ mineral processing laboratory

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article image Mineral processing laboratory

Gekko Systems  operates a fully equipped mineral processing laboratory housed within a modern purpose-built facility.

Gekko’s laboratory staff comprises a team of experienced professionals including geologists, metallurgists and chemical engineers. Working in conjunction with its 18 strong technical team, they can provide input to test work programs to realise the recovery potential of your ore.

Gekko’s expertise in designing test work programs includes single product, e.g. gold, diamond, tin etc, or multi-product, e.g. gold/silver, gravity, flotation and intensive leaching.

The Gekko laboratory specialises in:

  • Alternative comminution methods and mineral liberation (HPGR, VSI, etc)
  • Optimising feed size to enhance pre-concentration
  • Pre-concentration of minerals via gravity separation and/or differential density separation
  • Scavenging of fine fractions via gravity separation and/or flotation
  • Intensive cyanide leaching of pre-concentrated ore
  • Recovery of gold and silver from solution via ion exchange resin (AuRIX 100) and/or electrowinning

Your project can be enhanced by early identification of gravity recovery and, if applicable, amenability to intensive leach.

Understanding the mineralogy of your ore and in particular its liberation characteristics is critical to optimising results from pre-concentration.

Important test work design factors:

It is not possible to understand the recovery / grind relationship without proper metallurgical test work being carried out.

Conventional centrifugal gravity recovery work does not give a reliable indication of the relationship between high yield gravity and grind size.

Gekko has developed vibrating table and Dense Medium Separation (DMS) test work protocols which have been found over the past eight years to accurately simulate the performance of an IPJ in a circulating load.

With these tests it is possible to simulate crush/grind sizes up to 10mm and thus ensure processing can be simulated at the maximum possible liberation size.

It is critical to test the ore at as coarse a size as possible to determine the benefit from high mass pull gravity devices.

An example of this is given in the graph below. At a typical grind size of 106 µm the ore demonstrated reasonable good gravity recovery and many test work programs would stop at that point.

However, presenting the ore to the vibrating table at progressively coarser sizes showed a dramatic increase in recovery to the point that gravity at a coarse size could be considered to be the solution to the processing of this ore.

How much sample is needed for test work?

Sample requirement for a typical Gravity Flotation Intensive Leach (GFIL) test work program is 120kg; however the amounts may be significantly less for more specific test work programs such as intensive leach.

Underground processing test work procedure:

For customers who are interested in determining whether their ore is suitable for pre-concentration in Gekko’s new underground processing plant prototype, Gekko recommends a comprehensive test work program. This will require 400 – 500kg of sample. Gekko’s in depth analysis would include:

  • QEMSCAN mineral analysis
  • HPGR and/or VSI comminution test work
  • Multi stage grind and gravity recovery analysis
  • Flotation recovery analysis

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