Tag Archives: Petropavlovsk

Petropavlovsk gears up for refractory gold push with Pioneer plant launch

Petropavlovsk has announced the “technical launch” of the flotation plant at its Pioneer operations in Russia’s Far East, becoming the second facility in the gold miner’s portfolio able to process refractory gold ore and produce flotation concentrate.

Denis Alexandrov, CEO of Petropavlovsk, said: “The successful launch of the Pioneer flotation plant represents a key strategic milestone for the company. We are pleased to have commissioned the facility slightly ahead of the mid-year target we set when I joined the company last year.

“The new plant will enable Petropavlovsk to take full advantage of Pioneer’s substantial refractory ore reserves while providing an additional source of own-mined concentrate for our state-of-the-art Pressure Oxidation (POX) Hub.”

The new Pioneer flotation plant has the capacity to process 3.6 Mt/y of refractory gold ore. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to deliver more than 100,000 t/y of refractory gold concentrate for treatment at its POX Hub, the company says.

The opening of the Pioneer flotation plant doubles the group’s capacity to process refractory gold ore which, including the existing Malomir flotation plant, now stands at 7.2 Mt/y. Pioneer is expected to become fully operational by July and to produce around 60,000 t of concentrate in 2021.

Petropavlovsk said the construction of a third line at the Malomir flotation plant remains on track, and will add an additional 1.8 Mt/y of flotation capacity from the September quarter of 2022, bringing the total combined group capacity to 9 Mt/y.

“The launch of Pioneer flotation and expansion at Malomir will reduce the reliance of the POX Hub on treating lower-margin third-party concentrates,” the company added.

Petropavlovsk nears first gold production at POX plant

Petropavlovsk has made significant progress on the commissioning its Pressure Oxidation (POX) Hub project at the Pokrovskiy mine in the Russian Far East, with first refractory ore concentrate processing scheduled for November 28.

During the week commencing November 5, the group’s in-house POX experts together with Outotec, MOGAS Systems & Consulting and representatives from various equipment manufacturers, successfully commenced hot commissioning of the first of four autoclaves, associated flash tanks, high pressure circuits and concentrate re-grinding and lime preparation sections of the POX facility.

The hot commissioning process involved filling autoclave 1 with an acid solution that replicates the usual operational conditions under which the autoclave is processing refractory concentrate. The autoclave vessel was heated in stages over a period of three days, before being allowed to cool down over a period of two days.

“The hot commissioning process helped to expose certain minor defects, including a leak caused by a faulty seal within an agitator. All defects have now been rectified and the autoclave is being heated in preparation for final commissioning tests with refractory ore concentrate, scheduled for November 28,” Petropavlovsk said.

The flash tanks and receivers associated with autoclave vessel 1 have also successfully passed the hot commissioning stage.

In the update today, management also confirmed both the cold and wet commissioning of all other principal equipment at the POX and filtration sections of the plant have been completed, with wet commissioning confirming the quality of the welding and piping work at the POX section of the plant.

The concentrate loading, re-grinding and lime preparation sections (formerly part of the Pokrovskiy resin-in-pulp plant) have also been commissioned, and first concentrate and limestone are currently being loaded into the plant ahead of autoclave commissioning using refractory ore concentrate.

The oxygen plant has been fully commissioned and is being prepared to commence oxygen production to supply autoclave 1 once tests on refractory concentrate begin later this week.

Petropavlovsk says the company is on track for maiden gold production from the POX plant shortly, with a plan to ramp up to sustainable commercial production throughout 2019.

The development of the POX hub is aimed at supporting estimated production of 500,000-550,000 oz/y over the next five years, up from 420,000-450,000 oz expected this year.