Gold Technology Group
The Gold Technology Group (GTG) is a research group with a 30 year history of serving the gold/precious metals industry in performing industrially relevant research and development, consulting, software development, training, technology transfer and industry surveys.
The GTG resides within the Western Australian School of Mines and is associated with the Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering. It is located on Curtin University’s Bentley Campus in Perth and interacts with the academic departments and research centres on the Perth and Kalgoorlie campuses.
Research and Development
The group performs research in a wide range of research topics related to precious metals such as pre-concentration, comminution for optimal liberation and mineral exposure, flotation and flash flotation, gravity recovery, dense media separation, pyrometallurgical processing (roasting and smelting), leaching (heap, in-situ, vat, tank and autoclave), and recovery from solution through adsorption onto and elution from activated carbon, ion exchange, solvent extraction, and final recovery processes through electrowinning, cementation and precipitation. It has access to a large range of characterisation equipment to characterise minerals, species in solution, mineral interfaces and surfaces, as discussed under facilities below. Many PhD projects have been completed by research students associated with the GTG.
New sensors and devices are also included within group, such as the recent “Carbon Metre” that automatically measures carbon concentrations in CIL and CIP tanks.
Examples of equipment for controlled dissolved oxygen leach, electrochemical characterisation and an oscillating quartz, gas atmosphere controlled pyrolysis furnace.
Consulting and commercial work
The group performs consulting and commercial testwork. This includes characterisation and modelling of Carbon-in-Leach and Carbon in Pulp Circuits, Gravity Recovery and Flash Flotation Circuits, evaluation of process unit efficiencies on plants (classification, gravity and flotation processes), liberation-leach evaluations and determinations of gravity recoverable gold, to name but a few. A range of software tools are available to model processes and chemical phenomena.
Training, Surveys & Professional Development
The GTG does both plant based and regional technology transfer of best practices in precious metals processing, training of metallurgists during regional and site based courses and surveys of metallurgical operations on precious metals plants. Plant surveys are performed towards assessing operational performance and to obtain industrially relevant research data, based on well planned sampling campaigns. Samples of ores, minerals and their concentrates, processing intermediates and residues from various stages of processing are taken and characterised, typically at the GTG’s facilities on the Bentley Campus.
A range of useful models have been developed to model unit operations and parts of circuits associated with precious metals processing plant, covering liberation, classification, flotation, gravity recovery by batch centrifugal concentrators and jigs, leaching and adsorption.
The GTG has access to a range of research infrastructure, laboratories and facilities. Bentley based facilities include, among others:
- Quantitative X-Ray Diffraction with Rietveld Refinement
- X-Ray Fluorescence
- ICP-MS and Laser Ablation ICP-MS (including time resolved LA-ICP-MS), also equipped for high sulfur minerals
- X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and ion scattering spectroscopy (ISS)
- 3 Dimensional X-Ray Computed Tomography
- Atomic Force Microscopy
- Scanning Electron Microscopy
- Thermo gravimetric Analysis
- SelFrag® using high voltage pulses to comminute ores along mineral grain boundaries
- Raman spectroscopy
- Atomic absorption spectroscopy
- CIP/CIL Circuit surveying, modelling and optimisation
- Classification and gravity circuit surveying, modelling and optimisation
- Thermochemical and speciation modelling
- Determination of aqueous speciation in leach liquors
- Ore characterisation
– Determination of gravity recoverable gold (GRG) content through single and three stage characterisation
– Amenability to cyanide leach and adsorption
– Amenability to leaching by alternative lixiviants
– Controlled dissolved oxygen (DO)-lixiviant-pH leaching
– Determination of preg-robbing index
– Characterisation of preg-robbing carbonaceous components though Raman spectroscopy
– Flotation and flash flotation ore characterisation
– Amenability for pre-concentration by gravity
– In-situ 3D characterisation using 3D X-Ray CT scanning
– XPS characterisation of surfaces of minerals, ores, concentrates, residues and process intermediates, and characterisation of adsorbents
– QEMSCAN/TESCAN characterisation of minerals and mineral association and liberation
– Liberation-leach behaviour of gold ores
- Activated carbon characterisation – Determination of carbon activity
– Determination of particle size distribution
– Thermo-gravimetric determination of foulants
– Ash Content
– Thermal Regeneration
– Acid Washing
– 1-3 samples 180*
– Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) 220
– Inorganic Analysis
– Apparent Density
– Ball Pan Hardness
– Wet Attrition Resistance
– Pulp Attrition Resistance
– Sieve Analysis by Rotap
– Platelet Estimation
- Literature reviews
Extractive metallurgy is a mature science and therefore it is always worthwhile to review the current body of literature. The Gold Technology Group, through the AMIRA P420 and other gold research projects have built up an extensive literature database consisting of proprietary reports, AMIRA reports, conference proceedings, notes from industry experts, and journal papers.
- Process Benchmarking
The Gold Technology Group can benchmark your process against industry best practice.
The internationally renowned AMIRA P420 project on Gold Processing is managed and executed within the GTG. The current project cycle is P420E, titled “Environmentally Responsible Gold Processing”, which commenced in April 2013 and will run for three years on an industry cash budget of $3.8 million.
- Anglogold Ashanti – Major Sponsor
- Harmony – Major Sponsor
- Newcrest – Major Sponsor
- Randgold – Major Sponsor
- Barrick – Operating Sponsor
- Newmont – Operating Sponsor
- Norton Gold Fields – Operating Sponsor
- St Barbara – Operating Sponsor
- CSBP-AGR – Supplier Sponsor
- Gekko Systems – Supplier Sponsor
- Kemix – Supplier Sponsor
- Magotteaux – Supplier Sponsor
- Orica – Supplier Sponsor
- Tenova-Bateman – Supplier Sponsor