Brining together BioteQ’s ChemSulphide® process for metal recovery with the SART process for cyanide regeneration developed by SGS Lakefield and Teck Corporation, the plant removed and recovered copper from the cyanide leach solution produced by the gold heap leach operation, and regenerated the cyanide so that it can be recycled back to the gold operation. Constructed in 2008, the plant was designed with a capacity of 340 m3/hr, capable of recovering 900,000 pounds of copper and regenerating 2.8 million pounds of cyanide annually.
The plant was designed to produce a high-grade, saleable copper concentrate containing approximately 65% copper, to create an incremental revenue stream for the mine. By removing the metallurgical interference of copper from the gold leach process, the plant could enhance the recovery of gold on activated carbon, and improve purity of the gold-silver dore produced at the mine.
Up to 70% of weak acid dissociable cyanide was regenerated and recycled for gold recovery, reducing the quantity of cyanide required and the associated operating costs, while concurrently increasing environmental performance by eliminating copper-cyanide complexes in residual leach solution and recycling the copper off-site.
BioteQ’s services included process design, equipment procurement, construction, commissioning, operator training and operating services for the project.
The application of BioteQ’s technology at Lluvia de Oro had a number of process, environmental, and economic benefits. The plant was designed to: