Tag Archives: Gekko Systems

Gekko Systems improves carbon sampling accuracy, safety at Cowal gold mine

The technical team at Gekko Systems has released further data that, it says, supports the benefits of new technology that optimises carbon management systems in gold processing facilities.

Optimising carbon management in the carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit reduces gold solution losses and improves gold circuit recovery. This is essential for sites needing to offset higher inflationary costs with improved revenue, Gekko says.

The case study, released today, reviews operational performance of Gekko’s Carbon Scout at Evolution’s Cowal Gold Operation in New South Wales, Australia.

The Carbon Scout is a self-contained, ground-level sampling system that measures carbon concentration, as well as pH, DO and, more recently, has an option to measure gold loading on carbon using XRF technology on an hourly basis. Optimising the Carbon Scout for site conditions allows for more accurate, reliable and repeatable measurement of the carbon inventory of the CIL
circuit, Gekko says. Automating data collection and process actions such as carbon transfer, meanwhile, reduces operator risk exposure and person-hours (previously dedicated to the manual data collection tasks).

Installation of the Carbon Scout at Cowal commenced in February 2019, with the Gekko Systems Digital Services and Technical team providing ongoing support – both onsite and remotely – in the initial months of the system’s operation to ensure maximum availability was achieved and Evolution Mining was receiving the full benefit of the Carbon Scout.

After a few months of integration with the SCADA system, the Carbon Scout was able to use the data and analysis to facilitate automated transfer of the carbon inventory within the circuit to maintain pre-determined concentrations, according to Gekko.

The Carbon Scout at Cowal has successfully reduced operator exposure to slurry containing hazardous materials including cyanide and improved sample authenticity by collecting a more representative and repeatable sample, Gekko said in the case study.

The other critical success achieved by the Carbon Scout is its ability to take a larger CIL tank sample that is more representative. This is achieved by the Carbon Scout drawing from deeper within the tank, where more superior slurry-carbon mixing occurs, and a larger sample of up to 20 litres is taken, which is 10-20 times the typical manual sample size. Additionally, the sample is extracted from a consistent point each time the Carbon Scout cycle samples from that tank.

Gekko concluded: “Optimising the Carbon Scout for site conditions allows for more accurate, reliable and repeatable measurement of the carbon inventory of the CIL circuit. Utilising these measurements and integrating with a plant’s SCADA system, the automatic control of carbon concentrations through the CIL circuit can be achieved. Automating data collection and process actions such as carbon transfer reduces operator risk exposure and man hours previously dedicated to the manual data collection tasks.

“The improvement derived from the utilisation of the Carbon Scout should lead to increases in circuit recovery by reducing soluble gold losses.”

The Carbon Scout was originally the brainchild of Curtin University’s Gold Processing team, led by Dr Teresa McGrath and Bill Staunton. Curtin University selected Gekko Systems as its commercialisation partner.

Staunton noted that “real-time data collection instrumentation and related analysis is essential to the future of the gold processing industry”.

Gekko Systems’ Technical Director, Sandy Gray, said: “The increasing installation base of the Carbon Scout globally is providing a fantastic baseline of evidence that supports the benefits of quality data collection and automation.”

Anax Metals brings Gekko in for process plant design at Whim Creek copper mine

Anax Metals Limited has appointed Gekko Systems as process plant design consultant to assist with the design process of a polymetallic sulphide concentrator plant at the Whim Creek copper mine in Western Australia, Gekko says.

The concentrator plant will be designed to process approximately 320,000 t/y of pre-concentrate, with feedstock for the concentrator consisting of primary sorted ore and upgraded fines from the gravity circuit.

Anax plans to design the process plant and associated infrastructure such that it may be fabricated and assembled on skids, in a factory, prior to transportation and installation on site. This strategy delivers many significant benefits and reduces site related construction risks.

Anax’s Managing Director, Geoff Laing, said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Gekko team and look forward to delivering a cost-effective modular plant for Whim Creek. Modularisation is a key element of the ‘Anax Blueprint’ which is expected to deliver leveraged outcomes to our projects.”

Gekko to build tungsten ore processing plant for Dolphin Mine re-development

Gekko Systems says it has executed a construction contract with Group 6 Metals Limited for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the processing plant and related facilities for the redevelopment of G6M’s 100% owned Dolphin Mine, located on King Island, Tasmania.

The contract, which has a value of approximately A$49 million ($35 million), anticipates the commissioning of the facilities in the March quarter of 2023. Based on this timing the first shipment of ore from the Dolphin mine to customers will also occur during the three-month period.

Gekko has been engaged with G6M (formerly King Island Scheelite) over the last three years and, together, the companies have formulated the flowsheet which was developed after extensive independent test work at the ALS laboratory undertaken on behalf of G6M in Burnie, Tasmania.

Following the execution of the contract, G6M is scheduled to commence earthworks early in the March quarter of 2022 in preparation of the civil works commencing soon thereafter.

Group 6 Metals Executive Chairman, Johann Jacobs, said: “We have successfully worked very closely with Gekko over a number of years, which has culminated in us being able to execute this substantial contract so soon after completion of the financing of the project. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Gekko to ensure a quality facility that is completed on time and within budget.”

Chair of Gekko Systems, Elizabeth Lewis-Gray, added: “This is a critical resource development and an important project for regional Tasmania and Victoria. The team at Gekko are proud to have the opportunity to collaborate on and deliver a quality, locally designed and built process plant solution for Group 6 Metals.”

An October presentation from King Island Scheelite outlined a 400,000 t/y ore operation, producing 275,000 metric tonne units of tungsten oxide.

Knelson concentrator, Gekko ILR set to boost gravity gold recovery at Asante’s Bibiani

Asante Gold’s plan to bring the Bibiani mine in Ghana into production in the September quarter of 2022 remain on track after mobilising a contractor to refurbish the process plant and made plans to upgrade its gravity gold recovery equipment.

The company acquired the mine earlier this year from Resolute Mining, embarking on a journey to return the former operating mine to its past glories.

In a market update, Asante said all activities for the restart were on track.

“Asante is preparing a plan to deliver a mine that can produce approximately 190,000 oz of gold at Bibiani in its first 12 months of operation and circa 240,000 oz every year thereafter for a minimum of six years,” it said.

Tenders have been invited for the selection of a mining contractor, with mobilisation of said contractor expected to proceed in the March quarter of 2022.

At the same time, the process plant refurbishment is slightly ahead of schedule and on budget, the company said.

Harlequin International has been contracted to complete the refurbishment engineering procurement and construction management (EPCM) and has mobilised as scheduled. The full EPCM team, plus requisite complement of tradespeople, is on site to provide training, safety and project delivery systems and resources needed to ensure achievement of a safe and productive work environment, the company said.

Asante explained: “All work activities are proceeding as planned. Principal equipment motors and drives have been taken off site, to be serviced as needed. Electrical components, instrumentation and control systems have been tested and are being upgraded as needed to provide improved performance, above the original design.”

The company said gravity recovery equipment was being upgraded to “2020 level” of competence and automation. This includes the purchase of a new high efficiency “6G Knelson concentrator” (from FLSmidth) and Gekko ILR (InLine Leach Reactor).

Sub-contractors have been engaged to proceed with sand blasting, metal and pipework repair, painting, installation of liners and belts, and to ensure safe and efficient operation, Asante said.

“Equipment that is on site but that was not fully installed by the former owners is in the process of being made ready for operation,” the company added. “As of the last week of October, there are more than 200 workers on site. To date the project remains on budget.”

In July 2018, Resolute Mining, based on some 50,500 m of drilling, released an updated feasibility study for Bibiani reporting JORC compliant resources of 21.7 Mt at 3.6 g/t for 2.5 Moz of gold.

Gekko Systems partners with Quadra Chemicals to expand GoldiLOX leach reach

Gekko Systems says it has entered into an agreement with Quadra Chemicals Ltd to represent its GoldiLOX leach accelerant exclusively in Canada and the USA, and non-exclusively in Mexico.

GoldiLOX is an advanced leach accelerant able to, the company says, increase gold recovery while shortening intensive cyanidation times, making gold production a faster and more effective process. Compatible with all intensive reactors in the marketplace, GoldiLOX is either added as a single manual addition or by an automated chemical dosing system to the intense leach reactor.

“Gekko is pleased to enter an agreement with Quadra Chemicals to provide a cost effective and efficient leach accelerant, GoldiLOX, to our clients in Canada, the USA and Mexico to add further value to their projects,” Andrew Edmondston, CEO of Gekko Systems, said.

Ian Holden, Product Manager, Mining Group of Quadra Chemicals Ltd, added: “Partnering with innovative solution providers to the mining industry, such as Gekko, allows us to continue to provide technologies which will help to ensure our client’s competitiveness in the market. We are excited about this new partnership and look forward to working in collaboration with Gekko.”

Alphamin bolsters gravity separation options with second Gekko IPJ

Alphamin Resources has purchased a second IPJ2400 for tin recovery at the Bisie tin project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gekko Systems says.

The purchase of a second Gekko InLine Pressure Jig (IPJ) unit follows good performance from the first IPJ installed at this site in 2018 (pictured).

In addition, the Ririwai tin project has purchased an IPJ1500 in Nigeria.

The IPJ is a continuous gravity separation device that rapidly and efficiently pre-concentrates high-value and high-density mineral particles such as tin, tantalum, sulphides and free gold, Gekko says.

With installations worldwide, the unit has multiple applications including assisting in gangue rejection and combining with flotation to recover coarse minerals at the plus-100 micron range. The IPJ has significant benefits such as low water consumption, low footprint, ease of operation and 30 years of operational history.

New Gold to collaborate with MineSense in underground ore sorting move

MineSense is gearing up for a move underground with the help of New Gold and its New Afton gold-copper mine in British Columbia, Canada.

The Vancouver-based technology company has already established and proven its ShovelSense technology for the open-pit mining sector, with its X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) sensor-based system now operating on shovels, wheel loaders and excavators on a commercial basis across six operating mines. This includes large installations at Teck’s Highland Valley and Copper Mountain’s copper operations in BC, as well as one ShovelSense unit at the Antamina copper operation in Peru.

Designed for operation in extreme environments and retrofits on any existing mobile equipment, ShovelSense units come equipped with a human machine interface and proprietary algorithms that measure and report ore grade/characteristics. They can also connect directly to fleet management or other existing control software systems, enabling mine operators to reconcile geological block models with actual ore grade data.

Having finetuned the system for above-ground operations, the company is now embarking on its underground move, according to MineSense President and CEO, Jeff More.

A trial of the underground ShovelSense system at New Gold’s New Afton mine is first up to complete product development. The company will be installing a unit on a Cat R1600G LHD for this step. This will be followed closely by installation at a “large entity” in Chile – with More anticipating start up in the September or December quarter.

The development agreement with New Gold at the BC-based mine is looking to trial and finetune the system for underground operations, with More confident the ShovelSense system will stand up to the test.

“The core technology – all of the algorithms, software, hardware – is the same as ShovelSense for open-pit mining,” More said. “It is the ‘application package’ – looking at how we can attach the unit to the machine and protect it in an underground environment – that is what we have to test out. The design for this is already complete; it’s just a matter of trialling it.”

New Afton represents a good test for the system.

New Afton is Canada’s only operating block cave mine, with the New Afton deposit part of a larger copper-gold porphyry district in the region. The operation regularly mines 15,000-16,000 t/d of ore and waste, with the majority of this currently going to the mill.

The company has already pursued “ore segregation” projects to boost the grade of material being fed through to the processing side, but the move into the higher-grade C-Zone in 2023-2029 will place an even greater emphasis on ore/waste boundaries and milled tonnes at the operation.

At the same time, the ShovelSense deployment at New Afton will represent the first time MineSense has sent a unit into a mine that has so much payable gold, with most operations the company has worked on being primarily base metal-oriented.

In 2020, New Afton produced 64,000 oz of the yellow metal, along with 32,659 t of the red metal.

“This will be the first time we’re touching gold at this level; we have other mines that have payable gold but not at that level,” More explained.

In New Afton’s case, sampling and historical data has proven that the orebody’s copper and gold ratios tend to be consistent and unchanging over the long term. With this knowledge, New Afton has used technology in the past to determine the copper value and make ore/waste production decisions. ShovelSense allows New Afton to move the ore/waste production decision to the drawpoint, according to MineSense. This reduces mixing and blending during the crushing and conveying circuit which can homogenise the material to the point where it is not worth segregating.

Trialling new technology such as this is nothing new for New Afton.

The operation already uses automated loading through Sandvik’s AutoMine solution, is employing electrification with the use of Sandvik and MacLean Engineering battery-powered mobile equipment, and, in the process plant, has Gekko Systems’ highest volume InLine Pressure Jig IPJ3500 to improve gravity concentration.

More says the ShovelSense unit could be in the Cat LHD bucket at New Afton in August, with the machine then going through an above-ground trial ahead of the underground transition at the end of September.

“By early Q4, we should have completed the pilot,” he said.

Gekko installs OLGA, Carbon Scout solutions at Gruyere as part of collaborative project

Gekko Systems, as part of a collaborative project to collect and analyse real-time gold reconciliations and automate gold processing plants, has installed its OLGA and Carbon Scout solutions at the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia.

In October 2020, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre announced the consortium of Gold Fields, Orway IQ, CSIRO, Curtin University and Gekko Systems as recipients of the Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds. The METS Ignited funding will assist the development of this project.

In a world-first, the project draws together a range of technologies, including the Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout, and skill sets that are the first step to truly understanding what is happening in a gold production plant in real time and will eventually lead to a fully autonomous gold plant, Gekko said.

Gekko recently installed the OLGA and Carbon Scout at Gruyere (a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources), the site where the project will become reality.

“The Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout will revolutionise the industry’s ability to measure gold circuit inventory and recovery in real time, move it into the digital world and provide opportunity for full automation,” Gekko said.

OLGA is a world first on-stream analyser designed to continuously read low grade gold grades in slurries and solutions, giving operations the ability to see and control their plants in real time, the company says. The alternative traditional sampling methods involve significant delays – of up to one or two days for feedback.

The Carbon Scout is a self-contained, ground-level sampling system to improve carbon concentration measurements in carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-pulp circuits to an accuracy of ±0.5 grams of carbon per litre of pulp. Uniquely, multiple other data points include slurry density, pH, DO and gold loading on carbon, Gekko explained. Data profiles are provided in every tank, every hour.

“The combination of OLGA and Carbon Scout, supported by the Gekko Sample Delivery System, means all CIL/CIP sampling can be done conveniently and safely at ground level,” it said. “Each tank is sampled by a patented pumpless delivery system. All samples in the plant including leach feed and tails will be delivered through this system to potentially alleviate the need for expensive cross-cut samples.”

The team of Orway IQ will deliver the data through the Trinity program. With the MillROC data system and the Gekko technical team using the data for system analytics.

The ultimate aim of the project is to have gold process and recovery data being analysed within minutes rather than days from anywhere in the world and for production to be adapted to reflect this data, Gekko said.

Collaborative project featuring Gold Fields looks to revolutionise gold plant data analysis

Gold Fields, Orway IQ, CSIRO, Curtin University and Gekko Systems have come together to commercialise a complete solution package for collecting and analysing gold plant data in real time.

This is a process that will revolutionise the industry’s ability to measure circuit inventory and recovery in real time, move it into the digital world and provide opportunity for full automation, according to Gekko.

Earlier this month, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre announced the consortium as recipients of the Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds. The METS Ignited funding will assist the development of a system to collect and analyse real-time gold reconciliations and automate gold processing plants by providing the technology, software, skills and expertise to the miners as an integrated package.

“In a world-first, the project draws together a range of technologies and skill sets that are the first step to truly understanding what is happening in a gold production plant in real time and will eventually lead to a fully autonomous gold plant,” Gekko said.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the project funding is supporting the commercialisation of innovation developed in partnership with industry, research and Australia’s mining equipment technology and services (METS) companies.

“The METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds are a catalyst for industry collaboration to enable commercial pathways for Australian technology to deliver global results,” he said.

Gold Field’s Processing Projects Coordinator, Matt Dixon, said the value of this collaboration was having information available in real time to make decisions.

“The METS Ignited project is looking to integrate multiple technologies to achieve a step change in the automation and optimisation of gold processing,” he said. “Recent innovations by CSIRO and Curtin University, in partnership with Gekko Systems, are now making the potential to monitor gold in real time a reality.”

Gold Fields has chosen the Gruyere gold mine (owned 50:50 with Gold Road Resources) as the site to install and test these technologies, according to Dixon.

“Combining the OLGA (OnLine Gold Analyser, pictured) and Carbon Scout, with newly developed data capture and analytics technologies, aims to provide a step change to how we measure, monitor and optimise gold recovery,” he said.

This is a “world-first project”, creating a technological capability that does not yet exist anywhere else in the gold sector, according to Dixon.

The project will address current difficulties in accounting for gold during production, lag times in assessing data and adapting procedures to maximise production from the data provided and the safety around a number of those procedures.

The ultimate aim is to have gold process and recovery data being analysed within minutes rather than days from anywhere in the world and for production to be adapted to reflect this data, Gekko said.

METS Ignited to fund four collaborative mining technology projects

In line with the Federal Government’s recently published Modern Manufacturing Strategy, METS Ignited has announced the latest award of projects as a part of its Industry Growth Centre collaborative project funds.

It has announced the award of METS Ignited Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds, with the combined investment of over A$6 million ($4.3 million) from METS Ignited and industry partners going to AMOG Pty Limited, Gekko Systems, Polymathian, and Universal Field Robotics.

The fourth round of the funds focused on the application of analytics, automation and robotics in the mining industry. The selected projects have originated in the local market, are industry-led, and are projected to deliver a high degree of global impact potential and substantial benefits to the METS sector, according to the group.

The success of these four projects with over 17 industry partners in total is projected to deliver almost two hundred new roles, and generate a combined revenue contribution of over A$100 million for the sector, it said.

“METS Ignited’s role as an Industry Growth Centre is to lead collaboration between Australian mining equipment technology and service (METS) companies, global suppliers, mine operators, research organisations and capital providers to support the improved productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity of the Australia’s world-leading METS sector,” METS Ignited said.

METS Ignited Chief Executive, Adrian Beer, says the quality and capability of the funding applicants is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, with a number of the solutions having broader applicability across a number of sectors.

“This round of project fund recipients demonstrates just how capable our leading global METS sector is, and what is possible within our local technology sector,” Beer said. “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved by the project fund recipients to date, and this new addition to the project funding shows that we have a huge potential to build upon.”

(pictured is Polymathian’s ORB mining optimisation software)