SNC-Lavalin supplies filter press techology to Russian gold mine

SNC-Lavalin’s South African office is on track to complete a contract awarded in December 2012 for the supply of filter press technology to a major gold producer in Russia as part of the development of a greenfield plant. Roger Rousseau, Manager of the Modular Group at SNC-Lavalin’s Johannesburg office, says the contract was secured amid international competition to deliver the best combination of price, quality and schedule. The order was treated as a fast track project to ensure that the equipment was shipped well before the Russian winter set in. 

“Winter temperatures in the area of the mine can drop to minus 50oC, so it was not only imperative to ensure the equipment was shipped during a window of warmer weather, but also that this filtration equipment was capable of withstanding  excessively low temperatures once operational,” Rousseau explains. 

“Our colleagues at SNC-Lavalin’s Canadian offices, who have expertise in supplying equipment with the ability to function optimally in similar conditions, provided us with invaluable assistance in this regard.

“In the end, there was only one technology available to meet the unique requirements and strict process guarantees associated with this project,” adds Rousseau. “The plant must comply with stringent environmental legislation and we have to achieve less than 17% moisture in the discharged product, which will be used to build a dry stockpile. We’ve also incorporated a wash cycle into the filter press system to reduce the risk of cyanide contamination.

“The specifications for the equipment were so precise that we arranged with its supplier to send a dedicated test rig to the Russian site to ensure the technology would fulfil all the customer’s expectations. The test rig was sent overland from Italy to Russia, arrived on site within six weeks, and supplier personnel conducted the tests. As soon as the test results received the all-clear, the equipment was containerised.  SNC-Lavalin is currently supervising the installation and commissioning on site.”

SNC-Lavalin’s Modular Group in Johannesburg specialises in building modularised and containerised plants which facilitates logistics regardless of location worldwide. The team comprises a core of dedicated highly skilled professionals, all capable of multi-tasking and creating a price advantage when tendering for small projects, supplemented by a substantial network of global SNC-Lavalin technical resources and specialists. The ability to modularise plants makes it possible to complete assembly and cold commission plants prior to delivering to customers, while applying the highest standards of health, safety and quality.