The Chatree Gold Processing Plant utilizes a simple, proven ore dressing technique called Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) that features a capacity of processing approximately 2.3 million tonnes of ore per annum (2.3mtpa). This technique takes low-grade gold mineralised rock, containing 1-2 grams of gold per tonne of rock, which is then crushed into a fine powder within the plant’s grinding circuit. Water and reagents for extracting gold, including a weak cyanide solution, are then mixed with the powdered rock and activated carbon to split up approximately 90% from the gold and 35-45% with the silver. The gold-silver product is then poured as “dor” bars. The dor is refined in Hong Kong to the pure gold (999 fine gold) and pure silver essential to sell the product around the international market.
The fine powdered waste is kept in a tailings storage facility (TSF) and many with the water and reagents are recycled for further use. Non-toxic host minerals including carbonate, chlorite, clay and silica exist with the gold meaning that processing may appear without generating any chemical complexes which are difficult to manage. The most typical leaching agent utilized in the gold market is sodium cyanide. Any cyanide that is not capable of being recycled within the plant is chemically destroyed to non-toxic total cyanide amounts of 5-10 parts per million (ppm) – much like that found in a cupful of instant coffee – and contained for more breakdown in the tailings storage facility.
The existing Chatree Gold Processing Plant uses conventional strategies to treat a totally free milling gold ore. The plant is comprised of these unit operations:
1. Crushing – primary crushing (Jaw crusher) and crushed ore stockpile.
2. Grinding – grinding and classification (Ball mill & SAG Mill).
3. Leaching and adsorption.
4. Elution, desorption and carbon regeneration
5. Electrowinning and smelting; pour silver and gold dore bars.
6. Cyanide reduction & destruction.
7. Reagent mixing and storage.
8. Tailings pump and disposal to tailings storage facility; water recovered and re-used.
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