Glencore Technology and SGS Minerals have announced an agreement and certification that has seen SGS’s Lakefield site in Ontario, Canada, become the latest laboratory to be certified to conduct amenability level Albion Process™ testwork.
SGS, one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies, has become only the third certified provider of Albion Process testwork, joining Core Resources in Australia and TOMS Institute in Russia, Glencore Technology said.
“SGS is a highly trusted provider of laboratory testwork services and becomes a valuable supplier to Glencore Technology, expanding testwork capability throughout the Americas,” the company said. The lab successfully performed Albion Process testwork on a gold/pyrite concentrate and a copper/gold concentrate as part of this qualification.
The Albion Process is emerging as a competitive proposition in hydrometallurgy, using a combination of ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure to help extract base or precious metals. The process sees the sulphides in base of precious metal concentrate feeds oxidised and valuable metals liberated, with the economic metals recovered by conventional downstream processing, according to Glencore Technology.
The SGS testwork certification is important to both companies because the correct performance of the testwork is key to the successful full-scale implementation of the Albion Process on which performance guarantees are based, Glencore Technology explained.
“While the number of certified laboratories will expand in other key geographic areas, it will be kept to a relatively small number to maintain quality,” the company added.
Glencore Technology’s Mike Hourn, said: “We are delighted to see SGS Lakefield join the family of laboratories with the capability to perform Albion Process amenability testwork. They’re good at what they do and SGS represents a significant presence for us in the Americas and their network is highly valued by Glencore Technology.”
SGS Lakefield’s Niels Verbaan, said: “SGS is pleased to be accredited by Glencore Technology on Albion Process™ Testwork and looks forward to working with its clients to provide an objective opinion on the available process options.”
Independent analysis presented at the Extraction 2018 conference suggested the Albion Process has much lower capital cost than traditional leaching technologies like pressure oxidation (POx) plants (Clary et al, 2018). It also tolerates a more variable feed and lower grade to work where others may not, according to Glencore Technology. “It can therefore make some projects feasible and profitable where alternative technologies were unable to,” the company said, adding that there are six plants in operation globally treating refractory gold and copper concentrates.
The Lakefield site of SGS Minerals is its centre of excellence for metallurgical and mineralogical testing in the Americas, offering both laboratory and pilot plant services.