Economic evaluation of biooxidation of gold ores

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Biooxidation of gold ores or concentrates could be a very attractive alternative to pressure oxidation (POX) or roasting to liberate the gold grains from various sulfides. Crushed heap bioleaching was successful in US and many operations using tank bioleaching of gold concentrate are currently running around the world. Many parameters need to be considered during the project of sulfidic refractory gold ore process. Capital and operation costs are among the most important ones. Run-of-mine heap biooxidation could be very inexpensive and the smaller the crush size (particle size), the more expensive the capital and operating costs for biooxidation application are expected. The capital cost of biooxidation could be a fraction of the cost for building POX plant or roaster and the operating cost could be 1/3 of POX or roasting depending on the method utilized. A new biooxidation process, Sand Farming, is introduced as an alternative to POX and tank biooxidation process. A relatively coarser particle size (P80 = 650 µm) of the process benefits the low cost of grinding against the conventional grinding size (P80 = 75 µm) for other options. The cost of Sand Farming is less than 40% of that of pressure oxidation with comparable gold recovery from the downstream process. This paper will review the laboratory scale testwork for various biooxidation process of sulfidic refractory gold ores and concentrates and provide the economic evaluation showing the biooxidation could be the most economic method without much sacrificing the overall gold recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMPC 2016 - 28th International Mineral Processing Congress
PublisherCanadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Volume2016-September
ISBN (Electronic)9781926872292
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event28th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2016 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Sep 11 2016Sep 15 2016

Other

Other28th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2016
CountryCanada
CityQuebec City
Period9/11/169/15/16

Keywords

  • Bioleaching
  • Biooxidation
  • CapEx
  • OpEx
  • Pressure Oxidation
  • Roasting
  • Sand Farming
  • Sulfide Refractory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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  • Cite this

    Lee, J. (2016). Economic evaluation of biooxidation of gold ores. In IMPC 2016 - 28th International Mineral Processing Congress (Vol. 2016-September). Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.