Caledonia Mining says it has successfully installed and commissioned a new oxygen plant at its 49%-owned Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe.
The new oxygen plant is expected to improve metallurgical recoveries and reduce cyanide consumption at Blanket. Test work indicates the plant will improve overall metallurgical recoveries at Blanket to around 94%, up from the 93% average recorded for 2019 so far.
Steve Curtis, Caledonia Chief Executive Officer, said the oxygen plant commissioning was the latest in a series of investments to increase production and improve operating efficiency at Blanket as it looks to reach 80,000 oz/y capacity by 2022. One of the other projects that will contribute to this increased output is the sinking of the Central Shaft, which was completed earlier this year.
Curtis said: “The new oxygen plant will provide up to 6 t of improved oxygen supply to the Blanket carbon-in-leach plant, which is expected to increase recoveries to approximately 94%.
“We also anticipate that the oxygen plant will result in slightly lower operating costs as cyanide consumption is expected to be reduced as a result of the improved oxygen supply; and the operating costs of the new oxygen plant are predicted to be lower than those of the previous two tonne plant.”
Blanket produced 54,512 oz of gold in 2018 and is expected to produce 53,000-56,000 oz in 2019.