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Gold Ore Processing, 2e Contributors Support World Gold 2015 Conference in Gauteng, South Africa

By: , Posted on: December 11, 2015

markus reuter
Markus Reuter delivers his keynote address, aptly describing the importance of the circular economy and metals recycling

Contributors to the upcoming second edition of the well-received volume Advances in Gold Ore Processing published by Elsevier were abundant in their support of the recent international conference World Gold 2015, which was held September 28 through 2 October at Misty Hills Hotel & Conference Center in Gauteng, South Africa. The conference fully lived up to its name and delegates were treated to a meeting of many of the industry’s top minds, with about 250 delegates from all corners of the globe engaging in the beautiful Cradle of Humankind setting.

Markus Reuter (Helmholtz Institute) in his keynote address presented an approach to recycling of metals, showing that traditional life-cycle assessment (LCA) often triggers incorrect project decisions due to sensitivity to input assumptions, and a mass/energy balance approach is a useful tool in the exercise. Markus has contributed a new chapter to Gold Ore Processing, 2e, entitled “Gold – a Key Enabler of a Circular Economy: Recycling of WEEE.”

Understandably, in the current resource price-constrained environment, there was much high-level discussion on capital intensity, cost reduction, and productivity innovations in new technologies. Wayne van Drunick (Anglogold Ashanti) called for a new mindset in the industry given the reduced availability of capital. Marius Swanepoel (Worley Parsons) suggested that African projects are often underestimated in both capital and operating costs, due to difficulties with building infrastructure and transportation of equipment.

Peter Major (Mining Consultant) in his keynote address provided figures demonstrating that South African electricity provider Eskom’s stoppages have cost the gold industry ~18% in revenue this year, thereby removing the margin for many operators. Productivity has itself not changed substantially in 100 years. On a positive note, the gold price is still holding up relatively well at present. Leon Lorenzen (Mintrex), suggested in his paper that to avoid gold price speculation, a gold price sensitivity model in the analysis of gold projects is useful to augment conventional discounted cash flow analysis.

As editor of the volume and contributor of several chapters, I (Mike Adams, representing KellTech and Lifezone), presented a paper entitled “KellGold hydrometallurgical process for cyanide-free extraction of gold from refractory concentrates and feedstocks – a preliminary assessment.” The paper outlined an environmentally responsible approach to the treatment of gold concentrates, based on the Kell process for platinum group metals recovery. The KellGold process avoids the use of cyanide and produces no emissions of gases such as sulphur dioxide to the environment, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions substantially compared to conventional smelting.

Bill Staunton (Curtin University) presented a paper on operating costs in the gold industry, co-authored by Rob Dunne (Curtin University), and showed figures asserting that the recent gold boom produced only 20% extra gold production. South African mines are deep and high labour costs are now having a major impact on South African gold industry production. Bill has contributed a revised and updated version of his chapter to Gold Ore Processing, 2e, entitled “Carbon-in-pulp.” Rob Dunne has contributed a revised and expanded book chapter “The Flotation of Gold and Gold-Bearing Ores.” These two authors also appeared as co-authors on a World Gold 2015 paper covering SART cyanide and copper recovery, and to complete his hat trick, Bill Staunton also co-authored a third paper on optimising carbon management in CIP/CIL circuits!

Guy Deschênes (BBA) is the original contributor of the “Cyanidation” chapter, which he has revised and updated for the new edition. In his paper presentation Guy took the delegates through an elegant approach to decreasing the capital and operating costs of a gold cyanidation circuit.

mark aylmore
Mark Aylmore, Joe Zhou and Guy Deschênes, contributors to Gold Ore Processing, 2e, at a coffee break at World Gold 2015

Paul Breuer (CSIRO) has taken the lead on the revised and expanded chapter “Gold-Copper Ores” with Bruno Sceresini, the original author, remaining as co-author. Paul had a particularly active role to play at the conference, acting as Chairman for a session as well as presenting no less than three papers at World Gold 2015, covering aspects of gold leaching, cyanide and copper recovery, and cyanide destruction!

Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems) is one of the original contributors to the “Advances in Gravity Gold Technology” chapter, and presented an interesting paper covering a resin-in-pulp contacting column for gold recovery, also acting as a session chairman.

Peter Rohner (Core Resources) presented an update of the Albion Process commissioning and ramp-up status at the tailings retreatment plant in the Dominican Republic. Peter has contributed a revised and updated version of the existing chapter originally by Martin Millard “Treatment of Antimonial Gold Ores” in Gold Ore Processing, 2e.

A co-author of the original chapter on “Retreatment of Gold Residues,” Steve Flatman (Maelgwyn Mineral Services) was at the exhibition booth describing the innovative Aachen Reactors for improving gold leach efficiencies and co-authored a paper on the topic at the conference.

Frank Crundwell, author of the new chapter in Gold Ore Processing, 2e, “Evaluation and Funding of Capital Projects in Mining,” was unable to attend World Gold 2015, but appeared on the programme as a co-author on an innovative paper covering pressure oxidation autoclave design.

Prior to the conference proper, a one-day Gold Processing Course was well received by the 40 delegates, a great credit to course organizer Guy Deschênes. Of the seven course presenters, five are contributors to Gold Ore Processing, 2e – apart from Bill Staunton and Guy Deschênes, both mentioned earlier in this article, presenters included Joe Zhou (book chapter “Geometallurgy and Automated Mineralogy”), Mike Fullam (book chapter “Advances in Gravity Gold Technology”) and Mark Aylmore (book chapters “Alternative Lixiviants to Cyanide for Leaching Gold Ores” and “Thiosulfate as an Alternative Lixiviant to Cyanide for Gold Ores”).

mine site visit
Delegates ventured to the deepest depths of the known world at the Mponeng Gold Mine during the post-conference minesite visit

In general, the conference covered a good selection of high-level to detailed topics, spanning industry operators, consultants, and researchers from all corners of the globe—an ideal blend of talents for a meeting under the World Gold banner. The excellent opportunity for high-level, deep, and social interactions amongst the contributing authors of many chapters in the upcoming second edition of Gold Ore Processing was taken up with zeal!

 Gold Ore Processing: Project Development and Operations, Second Edition, brings together all the technical aspects relevant to modern gold ore processing, offering a practical perspective that is vital to the successful and responsible development, operation, and closure of any gold ore processing operation.

gold ore processingThe completely updated edition features coverage of established, newly implemented, and emerging technologies, updated case studies, and new topics, including automated mineralogy and geometallurgy, cyanide code compliance, recovery of gold from e-waste, handling of gaseous emissions, mercury, and arsenic, emerging non-cyanide leaching systems, and treatment of challenging ores such as double refractory carbonaceous sulphides.

The book is a must-have reference for anyone working in the gold industry including metallurgists, geologists, chemists, chemical engineers, mining engineers, environmental managers, and many more. Preorder it today with a limited 25% discount!

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