A Python modular processing system installed by Gekko Systems at a Gold Fields mining site in South Africa has been delivering positive recovery results.
Gekko Systems was contracted by Gold Fields in June 2010 to design, build, install and commission a Python 500 modular plant for its Kloof GROWTH project in South Africa.
The Python was installed to treat surface rock waste dumps located next to the site’s mining shafts. Additionally, the Python trial is part of a Gold Fields R&D project to test the innovative, low energy modular processing system for future applications.
Installed and commissioned in January 2011, the Python processing system has performed well with results from sample surveys completed by Gold Fields in May 2011 indicating that the InLine Pressure Jigs (IPJ) are recovering 79% of the gold into 27% weight.
According to David Taunyane, Head of Processing, South African Region, Gold Fields Ltd, with the plant running steadier since the last two months, recoveries of above 70% have consistently been realised in the IPJs at a mass pull recovery of 20% from a head grade of 0.65g/t yielding an impressive 2.6g/t.
He adds that the higher recoveries in the IPJs are due to the preferential liberation of gold bearing material in the Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI). Currently the IPJs are fed with material passing 3.35mm.
The remaining gold is further recovered in the Flash Float Circuit and results obtained from the plant indicate more than 60% recovery at a mass pull of 5% with residual gold values of below 0.05g/t. The higher recoveries are achieved at a coarser grind of 1.14mm versus 38.6% that was obtained in test work conducted on the finer grind of 0.85mm material.
Under the Python’s innovative flow sheet the need for a ball mill is eliminated, which significantly reduces the energy consumption of the plant. As a result, the comminution circuit of the Python 500 is estimated to be operating at less than 10kWh per tonne treated.