Tag Archives: Gekko Systems

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)

Gekko and Cadia working on gold elution circuit for Manuka Resources

Gekko Systems and Cadia Systems, following the signing of a partnership and collaboration agreement in October, say they are working together on their first joint gold elution circuit.

The two companies are in the process of manufacturing the circuit for Manuka Resources’ Mt Boppy gold project in New South Wales, Australia.

When the Gekko and Cadia agreement was signed back in 2019, the two said the partnership was expected to feature a new Gekko-Cadia brand, which represented an important industry collaboration between Cadia’s engineering capabilities and technical knowledge in areas such as carbon desorption, regeneration and gold room systems; and Gekko’s modular plant and package offerings.

Gekko’s Manager Sales & Operations for Australasia & EMEA, Tim Bell, said: “We see this as a great opportunity to add further value to the gold sector through the provision of high-quality packaged elution circuits and a natural fit with our already vast gold processing expertise.”

Manuka Resources says the Wonawinta processing plant flowsheet at Mt Boppy has an 1,800 kW primary ball mill, 400 kW secondary ball mill, six leach tanks (poured plinths for two more), a carbon based elution circuit with Merrill-type zinc precipitation, filter press (for silver) and a new Gekko elution circuit for gold doré production. It added that the plant had recently been refurbished at a cost of some A$5 million ($3.2 million).

METS companies rally round to solve COVID-19 challenges

The mining company response to COVID-19 has been well documented with leaders in the industry providing funds on a local and national scale, as well as shutting down susceptible operations, to tackle the virus outbreak and ‘flatten the curve’. The mining equipment, technology and services (METS) side is also doing its bit for the cause.

Many in the METS sector have been hit hard by COVID-19, with companies such as Caterpillar and Sandvik suspending operations in the face of supply chain issues and government-ordered shutdowns.

Despite these issues, these companies continue to innovate.

Vision enhancement specialist PROVIX has recently released a new thermal camera (pictured) to measure body and face temperatures that, it believes, will provide companies with a proactive COVID-19 detection method.

Its thermal vision camera systems are normally mentioned in IM in relation to providing more productive operations in drilling, mucking, hauling, blasting, tramming, loading and rescue operations, but the Ontario-based company has recently redirected its efforts to help detect infections that could be linked to the COVID-19 virus.

As PROVIX says, one of the main symptoms of a viral infection is an abnormal body temperature. “The normal body temperature ranges from 36.5° C to 37° C, and, if it exceeds 37.3° C, it is a true pathological fever,” the company said.

PROVIX’s non-contact temperature detector can achieve rapid preliminary temperature screening of people passing through the thermo-visual device, it said.

The company has improved and upgraded the facial recognition technology and automatic infrared facial temperature measurement for this new system, which will measure accurate forehead temperature and report any abnormalities with an alarm, PROVIX says.

“The equipment will automatically save the facial image, temperature record, passed time, name, ID card information record, etc,” the company explained.

While handheld temperature reading has been commonplace during the height of the pandemic, PROVIX says this method takes longer and puts those staff administering the test at risk of contracting the virus. Due to the consistent contact that comes with handheld body temperature devices, there is also a higher risk of spreading the virus further, PROVIX said.

There is also, typically, nowhere to record and retain temperature data.

PROVIX says its new thermal camera device can store up to 10,000 records, which includes temperature information and identity information, while providing an integrated video management platform that allows for video preview, playback, alarm management, electronic mapping and other functions.

Australia’s Gekko Systems has also been making the headlines in recent weeks; not for its innovative InLine Pressure Jigs for continuous gravity separation or other gold processing and low-energy mining solutions, but for its development of a ventilator.

A group of collaborators from Ballarat, Australia, including Gekko Technical Director, Sandy Grey, recently formed a response group seeking to deliver a viable and suitable ventilator for both local use and potential global application.

Grey brought the Gekko team’s knowledge of pneumatics, hydraulics, operating systems, mechatronics and control systems to ICU anaesthetists, including Doug Paxton and Michael Whitehead, to design a simple, robust, no frills ventilator.

The Gekko ventilator, or GeVentor, may have potential for remote site applications as it is designed to conserve oxygen consumption and function with extremely low power requirements. It has, this month, attracted the attention of the Victorian government, which has committed funds to preparing the Gekko ventilator design for manufacturing readiness.

Back in Ontario, FORTAI is only just coming off having developed the ADMMIT® autonomous mobile inventory management system for dynamic environments such as mines.

In the last month or so, it has redirected its resources to create sanitisation chambers for personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing, or other tools.

The company is looking to convert its mining supply chain and logistics product, the SmartCube™, into a solution that sanitises PPE or other devices used by front-line and essential workers across a range of industries, it said. By using the SmartCube technology, users can track and log PPE as it is sanitised.

The company will bring its Sanitization SmartCube into production within 30 days by leveraging its proven SmartCube technology, a powerful ecosystem of partners, and expertise from the INOVINTA Group of Companies, which includes BESTECH and SHYFTinc, the company said.

This is just a sample of the innovative work the METS sector is providing at a time of global need. Many other companies have also donated relevant equipment to the healthcare sector and provided facilities to house patients or produce the required products to protect people against the virus.

CSIRO-Gekko’s OLGA proves its worth at Evolution’s Mt Carlton mine

Gekko Systems says the benefits of accessing real-time on-stream gold data has been proven with the trial installation of the CSIRO-Gekko OLGA analyser at Evolution’s Mt Carlton operation, in Queensland, Australia.

This trial has since been converted into a sale and permanent installation, Gekko said.

OLGA is an X-ray fluorescence-based technology capable of detecting gold in slurry with around 1,000-times better accuracy than conventional methods – and in real time, according to CSIRO, which helped develop the analyser.

It detects gold (and other elements) contained in a continuous process stream at 10 parts per billion using a pair of X-ray lenses that greatly magnify the slurry’s fluorescent gold signal as it passes through a tank, CSIRO explained.

While the announcement of the trial and commercial transaction for Evolution’s Mt Carlton operation is ‘news’, CSIRO reported earlier this year that field trials at a Queensland gold mine were showing positive results and that the technology was expected to be ready for market this year.

Gekko, last week, said the unit was installed in December 2018 and trialled on a number of slurry streams including feed and tail before the device was purchased in June 2019. “Both CSIRO and Gekko teams worked collaboratively with a very engaged support group from Mt Carlton to deliver a quality outcome,” the company added.

The alpha system was designed for harsh mine conditions and exhibited high availabilities, according to Gekko. Furthermore, sampling accuracy has also been very positive when compared with assay test work on the same sample stream, the company added.

In reviewing the data, Professor Tim Napier-Munn, a Statistical Expert from JK Tech, said: “Based on these data and in this application, OLGA is likely to provide estimates of feed Au concentration that are suitable for use in manual or automatic control of the downstream process, and metallurgical balancing over time”

Mt Carlton was developed by Evolution and commissioned in 2013 and is now one of the highest-grade open-pit gold mines in the world, according to the miner. It produced more than 100,000 oz of gold for the third year in a row in the company’s 2019 financial year (106,646 oz), the same year in which the development of an underground mine from within the open pit was approved.

Last week, Gekko also announced the signing of a partnership and collaboration agreement with Western Australia-based specialist mineral processing engineers, Cadia Systems. The partnership was expected to feature a new Gekko-Cadia brand, which represented an important industry collaboration between Cadia’s engineering capabilities and technical knowledge in areas such as carbon desorption, regeneration and gold room systems and Gekko’s modular plant and package offerings, the two said.

Granada Gold Mine brings Gekko in for “disruptive” pre-concentration tests

Toronto-listed Granada Gold Mine thinks pre-concentration by separation has the potential to lower capital and operating costs at its Granada gold project in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada.

The company has come to this conclusion after receiving higher grades during testwork, which, it said, “may have implications for the grade of future mill feed, the size of the gold deposit, and the costs associated with future mine production.”

The company went to Gekko Systems of Ballarat, Australia, for this testwork. Granada said of Gekko: “Their innovative pre-concentration system increases recovery values, reduces ore mass and waste, reduces water use, lowers power requirements, and improves feed rates, all potentially meaning lower capital and operating costs for Granada along with higher recovery rates.”

A 260-kg sample of low-grade drill core assaying 0.6 g/t was upgraded to 6 g/t with a 60% overall recovery by this work. The Gekko laboratory processed the sample by crushing through different size fractions, homogenised, and split according to standard lab practices, Granada said. Gravity tests were conducted on coarse and fine fractions, approximately +600 μm and -150 μm, respectively.

A grade of 21 g/t Au was achieved from the coarse size fraction, with a recovery of 40%, resulting in an upgrade ratio (concentrate/feed) of 35.

Frank Basa, Chairman and CEO of Granada Gold, said: “As a result of this preliminary work, we believe that employing disruptive technologies on lower-grade ore to pre-concentrate the mineralised material for process plant feed can be advantageous. This approach can be used to evaluate the potential to increase the gold resource and other recoverable metals which, in turn, will lower project capital and operating costs.”

In a related matter, the company has also begun a test programme using the pilot plant of its sister company, Canada Cobalt Works. In this first round of tests, a 120-kg sample of low-grade mineralised rock from the Granada gold mine waste dump was processed by screening the material into three screen sizes followed by gravity separation. These concentrates were then analysed for gold, silver, cobalt, nickel, and copper.

Gravity assay test results are pending, with a particular focus on recoverable base metals.

The current feasibility study for the on-site gold mine and plant at Granada has been put on hold pending results of the metallurgical studies. The environmental studies to install a 600 t/d gravity leach plant are, in the meantime, ongoing at the Canada Cobalt Works Castle mine. The flowsheet has been completed and equipment has been sourced, the company said.

The company is in possession of all permits required to commence the initial mining phase, known as the “Rolling Start”, which allows the company to mine up to 550 t/d, capable of producing up to 675,000 t of ore over a three-year period.

AuStar Gold hopes Gekko’s ILR can cope with Morning Star middlings

AuStar Gold has announced the re-commencement of gold processing at its Morning Star process plant in Victoria, Australia, and, at the same time, signed an agreement with Gekko Systems to acquire a custom-made intense leach reactor for the processing of residual sulphide/gold concentrate.

The agreement with Gekko, which should enable increased overall gold recoveries from the process plant, was the last remaining processing hurdle for AuStar, given the small component of non-free milling gold present in its ore, to maximise commercial gold recoveries, it said.

The AuStar Gold process plant at the Morning Star mine site uses standard gravity methods (enhanced by recent investment in a high-speed centrifugal concentrator to recover gold from the Morning Star and Rose of Denmark ores.

“Through the gravity process, the gold room captures approximately 65% to 75% of the gold directly to bullion, with an additional 15% of fine free gold residing in the middlings as concentrate and up to 10% of fine free gold in the gold room table rejects,” AuStar said.

The material containing the fine free gold (concentrate) not captured directly into bullion at the Morning Star plant is to be treated by Gekko Systems offsite, with expected recoveries in these two fractions of approximately 95% of the contained gold, the company said. This is expected to lift total gold recovered and sold from ore supplied to the mill to better than 90%, AuStar added.

Meanwhile, a high-speed centrifugal concentrator has been purchased to replace the smaller, hired unit presently located in the process plant which produces concentrate to be provided to Gekko. This larger unit is being installed in March.

A custom-made intense leach reactor is under construction at Gekko’s Ballarat facility, designed to suit Morning Star concentrate, and will be operational in early April, the company concluded.

Just last month, AuStar confirmed it would re-start mining activity at the historic Morning Star and Rose of Denmark mines in February, with processing at the Morning Star gravity processing plant expected before the end of that month.

Morning Star is a proven past operator, with 830,000 oz of gold at 26.5 g/t Au previously produced.