Tag Archives: SART

BQE Water achieves several firsts with Zhongkuang SART plant operation

BQE Water says it has advanced the SART plant it designed for a gold metallurgical facility owned by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co Ltd, in China, to full production.

Located in the Shandong Province in eastern China, the plant is now being operated under the ongoing technical supervision of BQE Water.

Implementing SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) at the site improves both the environmental performance and project economics of the metallurgical facility, BQE said. Specifically, the SART plant eliminates the need for cyanide destruction, recovers copper and zinc as separate sulphide concentrates, and recycles free cyanide recovered by the plant to gold leaching.

BQE was awarded the SART plant contract back in 2019 following the positive outcome of an engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year.

The Zhongkuang SART plant also represents many firsts, according to BQE:

  • It is the first application of SART globally where the cyanide competing base metals, copper and zinc, are recovered simultaneously from the leach solution as two separate high-grade concentrates that can be sold to generate incremental revenues;
  • It is the first commercial scale application of SART in China;
  • It is the first SART plant where lime is used to control gas emissions to reduce operating costs and control the build-up of salts in the process water; and
  • It is the first SART plant to be integrated into a complex metallurgical flowsheet that combines mineral flotation with cyanidation and SART in a Zero Liquid Discharge metallurgical facility with complete water recycle.

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “We are very proud of our China-based operations team for this significant achievement and that they were able to do so considering the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zhongkuang SART plant is our flagship project for the China gold sector and other gold producers in the country are taking notice.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “The many firsts associated with the Zhongkuang SART plant demonstrates our leadership in SART technology. And through the unique combination of engineering know-how and operations expertise, the project also shows our ability to reduce risks and achieve predictable outcomes for our clients.”

GBM, Round Oak celebrate first gold doré at White Dam

GBM Resources and Round Oak Minerals’ White Dam gold-copper heap leach asset in South Australia, has poured its first gold doré bar.

The achievement follows the completion of the sulphidisation-acidification-recycling-thickening (SART) plant build back in July, which earned GBM its 50% stake in the asset. GBM says the SART plant, and associated copper concentrate production, continues to ramp-up broadly in-line with expectations, while identified optimisation opportunities are expected to drive further expanded production and reduced costs.

White Dam, around 50 km southwest of Broken Hill, is a heap leach operation that, since 2010, has produced about 175,000 oz of gold from heap leaching of 7.5 Mt of ore at 0.94 g/t Au (which was mined from two open pits).

The JV owners say evaluation of the estimated remaining resources of 4.6 Mt grading 0.7 g/t Au for 101,900 oz of gold has commenced to determine the viability of the extraction and leaching of this material.

Peter Rohner, Managing Director and CEO, said: “I would like to thank the Round Oak site team for their ongoing efforts in optimising the SART plant operation. While recent rain has resulted in some minor delays, the additional water is set to drive increased heap leach irrigation and thus higher gold and copper production in the near term.

“We are now working to finalise shipping of the first copper concentrates once the concentrate drying process is completed. The SART plant is meeting its design objectives of removing copper and increasing the recovery of the cyanide solution back into the circuit to increase gold recoveries, which together enhance the overall economics of the White Dam operation.”

GBM earns 50% stake in White Dam through SART plant delivery

Having completed the construction of the SART plant at the White Dam gold-copper heap leach asset in South Australia, GBM Resources has earned a 50% stake in the joint venture operation.

The execution of the joint venture between GBM and Round Oak Minerals, signed on December 18, 2019, was conditional on the completion of the sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) plant at White Dam.

The SART plant construction was completed broadly as planned, with only slight COVID-19 related delays to delivery times of some key equipment, GBM noted. Staged commissioning activities commenced over the past three weeks as circuits in the plant were progressively completed.

The circuit has also now been continuously operated, with reagent additions and first copper sulphide concentrate having been produced, according to GBM. The gold leaching circuit and SART plant are targeted to reach steady-state operations during the current quarter.

Key contractors contributing to the design and construction of the SART plant include Core Metallurgy (metallurgical test work and process design), ammjohncm (civil and electrical design), Environmental Construction (civil construction) and DKM Electrical (electrical).

GBM also expects to complete a JORC 2012 compliant mineral resource estimate for White Dam shortly, which is expected to identify additional production potential of the existing heap leach operation moving forward, it said.

Peter Rohner, Managing Director and CEO, said: “I would like to thank the Round Oak team, both for their efficiency in finalising the joint venture documentation and, in particular, the efforts of their team on site in constructing the SART plant. I would also like to thank the other contractors involved in completing the construction work in a safe and timely manner.

“We are now working to finalise commissioning and look forward to shipping the first copper concentrates and recovering additional gold bullion in the current quarter.

“The SART plant project at White Dam is not only expected to generate cashflow for GBM, but also to extend the life of the operation and deliver an improved outcome for ultimate project closure by removing copper from the existing heaps.”

White Dam is around 50 km southwest of Broken Hill. It is a heap leach operation that, since 2010, has produced about 175,000 oz of gold from heap leaching of 7.5 Mt of ore at 0.94 g/t Au (which was mined from two open pits).

Fortuna starts stacking at Lindero heap leach gold mine

Fortuna Silver Mines has completed the primary and secondary crushing circuits at the Lindero gold project, in Salta Province, Argentina, with the company starting to stack ore on the heap leach pad.

As of the end of June, the overall project is now 97% complete, with the first gold pour expected at the end of the September quarter, Fortuna said.

Jorge A Ganoza, President, CEO and Director of Fortuna, said: “The successful commissioning of the primary and secondary crushing circuits and the start of stacking ore on the heap leach pad are key and much awaited milestones at Lindero. Our project team is delivering on schedule and budget according to the revised plan, despite the challenges and limitations of carrying on construction activities under COVID-19 related constraints.

“The next upcoming milestone is the start of heap irrigation which is scheduled for the end of August.”

The ramp-up phase of the primary and secondary crushing circuits will involve an increase in production until nominal rates of 18,750 t/d are achieved, the company said. Fortuna expects to achieve nominal rate production in the December quarter of 2020, inclusive of the tertiary high pressure grinding roll system and agglomeration plant.

Ore for the commissioning and initial ramp-up of the crushing circuit and stacking on the heap leach pad is being sourced from the medium-grade coarse ore stockpile inventory of around 1 Mt averaging 0.55 g/t Au.

During the period from July to December, an estimated 1.7-1.9 Mt of ore is scheduled to be placed on the leach pad with an average gold grade of 1-1.1 g/t, the company said. The estimated stripping ratio during this period is 0.68-0.75.

Final construction activities related to the process ponds, ADR (adsorption, desorption and regeneration) and SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) plants continues with electrical and piping installations progressing according to plan, Fortuna said. The process pond and ADR plant electric rooms have been energised, with pre-commissioning of the solution handling system commencing on July 11 with the barren pond pumping equipment.

Lindero has been designed as an 18,750 t/d owner-operated open-pit mine with a pit life of 13 years based on current mineral reserves.

Kinross Gold weighs SART plant and rope conveyors for Lobo-Marte development

Kinross Gold has announced the results of a prefeasibility study for its Lobo-Marte project in Chile, which includes consideration of sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) technology, as well as the use of rope conveyors.

The open-pit, heap leach operation would produce around 4.5 Moz of gold at average all-in sustaining cost of sales of $745/oz, according to the study. It would operate for 15 years, which includes 12 years of mining followed by three years of residual processing.

The initial estimated capital cost for the project is $765 million, plus around $230 million in contingency, Kinross said. The estimated capital costs includes mine equipment, crushing and storage facilities, conveyors, and site utilities and infrastructure.

The most interesting processing aspect is the use of a SART plant in the mine’s design. Kinross has previously used SART technology successfully in the region at its former-operating Maricunga mine, which BioteQ Environmental Technologies (now named BQE Water) installed.

The company also plans to use rope conveyors, such as those provided by Doppelmayr at the likes of Torex Gold’s ELG mine in Mexico.

Subject to a positive development decision, the study estimates Lobo-Marte project construction beginning in 2025, with first production expected in 2027. Production would commence after the conclusion of mining at the company’s La Coipa project (pictured), which is located some 50 km northwest of Lobo-Marte, and where the company is continuing to explore opportunities to extend mine life.

Back in February, Kinross announced it is proceeding with the La Coipa Restart project to mine the Phase 7 deposit. The La Coipa restart is expected to generate strong returns and produce a total of around 690,000 oz of gold from 2022 to 2024. The project plan includes refurbishing the existing process plant, camp and other infrastructure, as well as the mine fleet from the Maricunga operation that has recently been placed on care and maintenance.

The company plans to commence a feasibility study on Lobo-Marte later this year, with scheduled completion in the December quarter of 2021. The feasibility study is expected to provide the detailed engineering and project description required for permitting and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment, Kinross said.

“The Lobo-Marte project provides Kinross with an excellent, organic development option that has attractive all-in sustaining costs and offers substantial upside leverage to the gold price, without increasing project cost requirements and risk,” Paul Rollinson, Kinross President and CEO, said. “The project represents a potential synergistic, long-term mine life extension in a favourable mining jurisdiction and delivers a significant 6.4 Moz addition to our current gold reserve estimates, increasing the company’s overall reserve mine life.

“As we move forward with the feasibility study for this longer-term project, we will continue to prioritise balance sheet strength and disciplined capital allocation.”

SART plant up and running at GoGold’s Parral tailings facility

GoGold Resources says the SART plant has been successfully installed and commissioned at its Parral tailings facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) plant is providing important economic and technical benefits to the Parral facility, according to the TSX-listed company. This includes the recovery of a high-grade saleable copper sulphide product, the re-generation of cyanide, which is the largest single operating cost at Parral, and an improvement in the leaching efficiency of the heap.

The company announced back in June 2019 that it had retained BQE Water to design, construct and commission the plant at Parral. This contract followed on-site testing and preliminary assessment of SART integration into the metallurgical process at Parral that BQE completed earlier in the year.

Brad Langille, President and CEO of GoGold, said: “Our team at Parral has successfully adapted agglomerated heap leaching to old mined waste at Parral, and the SART is a further optimisation of this innovation.

“The operation produces low cost gold and silver ounces while providing environmental remediation for the town of Parral. We see this expertise which we’ve developed over the last six years of operation as a real asset to the company that may be applicable to the millions of tonnes of mined waste in Mexico and beyond.”

The commissioning phase began in late January, and steady production was reached in early March, GoGold said. The plant is currently operating as intended, producing copper sulphide precipitate and re-generating cyanide. Its introduction has reduced the need for purchased cyanide by more than 20%, or around $200,000 ($140,378) in the month of March, according to the company, with the revenue attributed to the copper sulphide precipitate offsetting the costs of operation of the SART plant.

BQE Water receives second SART plant gig in China

BQE Water has been awarded its second SART plant contract in China, with Zhaojin Mining Industry Co signing up the mine wastewater and metallurgical bleed streams specialist to construct and operate the facility at a gold metallurgical operation, in Shandong Province.

The contract structure for Zhaojin, a state-owned company that is one of the largest gold smelters in China, is similar to the sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) contract signed earlier this year with Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co, BQE said.

It consists of two project phases, with the first phase including initial engineering design, procurement, construction and plant commissioning. This will be followed by a second phase for onsite operations support services for an initial period of five years with BQE Water being paid a quarterly service fee based on plant performance.

BQE’s SART process enables cyanide consumed by base metals to be recovered and recycled, lowering the cost of gold extraction and reducing the environmental footprint of gold mining projects, the company says.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “The two back-to-back multimillion dollar SART contracts with recurring revenues from ongoing plant operations will allow us to expand our China office and develop a comprehensive platform for delivering our expertise in one of the most active metals extraction, smelting and refining markets globally.

“We are also appreciative of research and development funding and advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).”

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, added: “Our partnership with MWT Water Treatment Project Limited Co has allowed us to establish a commercial framework built on our combined core-competencies. Together these capabilities are highly suitable to the mining market conditions and requirements in China and will support BQE Water in the acquisition of additional contracts from the deployment of our know-how.”

GoGold signs up BQE Water for SART plant at Parral tailings operation

BQE Water says it has been retained by GoGold Resources for the implementation of a sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) plant at the Parral operation in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The contract comes after on-site testing and preliminary assessment of SART integration into the metallurgical process at Parral that were completed earlier by BQE Water.

Under the contract, BQE Water’s scope of work will include plant engineering design, process automation, engineering support during procurement and construction, plant commissioning, and ongoing operations support after plant start-up. The plant construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Once the plant is commissioned, BQE Water will provide operations support services for a monthly fee for a period of three years, it said.

Owned and operated by GoGold Resources, the Parral project involves the reprocessing of old tailings to recover silver and gold by conventional cyanidation. In addition to the precious metals, the tailings also contain significant quantities of cyanide soluble copper and zinc. These base metals compete for cyanide, causing high cyanide consumption and increasing operating costs, according to BQE.

Anis Nehme, COO of GoGold Resources, said: “We have been working with BQE Water for the past few years to evaluate SART integration into the Parral project and we are relying on their expertise to help us maximise the positive contribution SART can bring to the project’s overall performance.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “This contract is further proof of our leadership in the safe, cost-effective and rapid deployment of SART to help precious metals producers improve the metallurgical and environmental performance of their projects.

“We stand behind our proven process designs perfected over multiple large projects completed in the past decade and in our operations support capabilities to ensure SART benefits are maximised while operational risks are minimised.”

The SART process recovers copper from cyanide leach solution while allowing free cyanide to be recycled back to the leaching of precious metals. This lowers the cost of gold extraction and reduces the environmental footprint of gold mining projects, BQE says.

“SART can be a game changer that favourably shifts project economics and enables projects to move forward,” BQE said, adding that fewer than 10 industrial scale SART plants have been built and operated globally.

BQE Water sorts SART plant for China’s Shandong Zhongkuang Group

BQE Water says it has been awarded its first contract to deliver a sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) plant in China.

The contract, at a gold metallurgical facility owned and operated by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co in eastern China, was awarded following the positive outcome of the engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year, the company said.

The contract consists of two project phases. In the first phase, BQE Water will provide all aspects of the plant design, engineering support during procurement and construction, and plant commissioning, it said. This initial phase is to be completed within the next 12 months.

In the second phase, BQE Water will provide ongoing operations support services for a period of five years and will be paid a quarterly service fee based on plant performance.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “We are very excited about this project which enables BQE Water to demonstrate our leadership in SART technology in China and to execute the project using a business model that generates recurring revenues from technological know-how and services without the need for capital investment.

“I would also like to acknowledge the positive role that funding and advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) has played in allowing us to accelerate research in clean Canadian technologies such as SART in China.”

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “The success of our operations at the Guoda gold smelter some 20 km away from the Zhongkuang site and our partnership with MWT Water Treatment Project Limited Co, were both instrumental in establishing the commercial framework for this project.

“SART implementation is the first step in the bigger picture of modernising cyanide management and waste treatment at the Zhongkuang metallurgical processing facility. The success of SART may open new opportunities to help us develop a long-term relationship with Zhongkuang.”

BQE Water calls itself a global leader in the SART process which enables cyanide consumed by base metals to be recovered and recycled, lowering the cost of gold extraction and reducing the environmental footprint of gold mining projects. The company also provides solutions to manage the by-products of cyanidation and cyanide destruction such as ammonia, nitrite and thiocyanate removal.

BQE Water moves a step closer to first SART application in China

BQE Water has signed agreements with two of the top 10 gold producers in China to complete engineering feasibility studies to integrate the sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) process and modernise cyanide destruction and residue management at existing operations in Shandong Province.

These studies are being undertaken in response to advancing environmental regulations and to enable the processing of feedstock with elevated levels of cyanide soluble copper, BQE said.

The feasibility studies will see BQE Water, which focuses on management of mine wastewater and metallurgical bleed streams, complete metallurgical and wastewater treatability test work in China and develop a sufficient level of engineering to confirm overall project economics, construction budget and schedule for possible implementation, the company said.

BQE Water calls itself a global leader in the SART process, which enables cyanide consumed by base metals to be recovered and recycled, lowering the cost of gold extraction and reducing the environmental footprint of gold mining projects.

David Kratochvil, President and CEO of BQE Water, said: “There is no question these new contracts were enabled by the success of the water treatment plant we designed and commissioned last year at the nearby Guoda gold smelter. That project has made all the major metallurgical operations in Shandong Province take notice of our capabilities.”

Shandong Province is home to some of China’s top gold producers. In the region alone where BQE Water’s new Guoda water treatment plant recently began operation, there are over 12 metallurgical plants that focus on gold extraction and refining, according to BQE.

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, added: “If these new projects move forward to implementation, we will be able to leverage our operations base at Guoda and our partnership with MWT, the Beijing based company with construction capabilities we formed a joint venture with for the Guoda project, to build what would be the first SART application in China and provide ongoing operations services to ensure performance excellence.”

Cyanide regulations around the world are advancing and target not only residual cyanide contained in wastewater and tailings produced by mining and metallurgical operations but also place strict limits for cyanidation and cyanide destruction by-products such as ammonia, cyanate, thiocyanate and nitrite, according to BQE.

“The goal is to ensure all discharges are non-toxic and do not cause impacts to the receiving environment. As such, proper cyanide management is key to the permitting of new projects and securing a social licence for gold producers.”