Gold Recovery Increase by Effectively Depressing Clays

Pionera F-100 improved copper and gold recovery in a bulk flotation process by clay depression.

The Telfer mine is a copper and gold operation located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Open-pit ore, predominately chalcopyrite with some chalcocite, and underground ore, predominantly chalcopyrite, is treated in two parallel trains with an annual processing capacity of 21 million tons.

In plant production at the Telfer Gold and Copper flotation circuit, the use of PIONERA F-100 showed a recovery increase in gold of 5% and a positive effect on copper recovery by successfully depressing clay in the bulk flotation process.

Positive laboratory results led to a plant trial with Pionera F-100 to determine its effect on gold/copper recovery and clay. Adsorption of Pionera F-100 onto the clay minerals suggests that the added dispersants prevent coating of copper sulfide chalcocite. The elimination of the slime coating increases the efficacy of the flotation reagent suite. Pionera F-100 showed in the plant trial, and later in industrial use, to effectively dispersing clay to improve copper and gold recovery in the Telfer flotation circuits.

The use of Pionera F-100 provided a significant benefit and an excellent return on investment to the Newcrest Telfer operation.

This is an executive summary based on the scientific article "Usage of anionic dispersants to reduce the impact of clay particles in flotation of copper and gold at the Telfer Mine" by Seaman, D. R., Lauten, R. A., Kluck, G. and Stoitis, N., 2012. In Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, pp 207-214


Key takeaways:

  • Increased gold and copper recovery in flotation.
  • Reduced slime coating improved flotation plant results.
  • Excellent return on capital employed.

Recovery comparison for 16-day-long plant trial in gold flotation rougher circuit.

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