Gold Vat Leaching Technology
When it comes to gold extraction, CRONIMET Mining Processing has undertaken a significant amount of work. In fact, our team has spearheaded the development of a unique vat leaching process, aimed at improving upon the conventional heap and tank leaching processes. Not only does this method provide more flexibility compared to the heap leach process, but it is also more cost-effective than the conventional tank leach and ensures high gold recoveries with far less in the way of capital investment. This technology is well suited to difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions operating within environments where the heap leach once proved difficult. This gives rise to a new range of opportunities for projects previously thought of as uneconomical.
This novel approach makes use of a series of sloped concrete vats, which ensures a compromise between the leach pads of conventional heap leaches and the tanks of tank leaching. Once crushing is complete, gold ore is agglomerated and stacked into the vats through the use of conveyors, after which it is left to cure.
Following this curing process, the agglomerate is irrigated with cyanide solution at flow rates far higher than those of traditional heap leaching. As a result of these improved flow rates, the leaching kinetics of this method can be seen as vastly superior. More than this, the power requirements of the system are lower than the case of tank leaching, as the agglomerate remains stationary, free of the need for agitation or transfer.
It is at this point, once the leaching phase is concluded, that the agglomerate is washed, so as to get rid of any residual cyanide solution. The material can then be removed from the vats by means of a front-end loader and sent off for final disposal.
This fresh approach is all about flexibility and economic feasibility, especially apparent as the leach system can quite simply be coupled with an array of gold recovery systems. This, of course, will depend on the nature of the requirements of the ore, such as employing the processes of carbon-in-column (CIC) or Merrill-Crowe (zinc cementation). Adaptable and effective, this advanced vat leaching system is just another means by which we strive to exceed industry expectations.