Newcrest Mining and Gekko have developed a three-year research and development program targeting improvements in energy efficiency, reduced operating costs, increased recovery and faster project implementation at existing and future planned projects for Newcrest. The benefits of this program for Newcrest will be achieved through the application of concepts to optimise crushing and grinding utilising technologies and flow sheets that focus on gangue rejection, preconcentration and liberation at coarse grind size.
Increasingly the alliance with Newcrest is shifting towards supporting brownfield operations. Important studies and work is being undertaken to support the metallurgy teams with a particular focus at Cadia, Telfer, Hidden Valley and Bonikro.
Part of this collaboration is to identify areas for improvement in the recovery of gravity amenable gold at the Cadia Valley Operations. These efforts focus on both primary gravity circuit and secondary treatment. Once enhancements are identified, they are then systematically worked through to resolution.
A further project being reviewed by the collaboration is the introduction of gangue rejection methods at the Telfer mine. The ore is described as having a ‘bricks and mortar’ structure due to the valuable minerals being present within the more friable ‘mortar’ component of the matrix. This gives the potential to separate waste from the valuable mineral by size, density and competency. This matrix has the potential to allow rejection of a significant portion of the ore for very little loss of valuable mineral using gravity methods.
Long term strategic relationships between gold processing specialists such as Gekko and operators such as Newcrest Mining allow for high quality data-based site performance analysis. These studies can not be performed over short periods and require a consistent and critical view to achieve best outcomes. Gekko is pleased to have the opportunity to engage with Newcrest at all levels of the company’s management and operations. Shared targets and goals are essential to a positive outcome, as well as consistent communication methodologies. “Using a specialist collaborative resource such as Gekko is providing significant insight into opportunities for improved operation at a number of our sites” says Paul Griffin, Metallurgy Manager, Newcrest Mining.
A structure of this type allows Gekko to allocate senior metallurgical skills on a consistent and systematic basis providing for a longterm investment in quality human resources. Gekko’s senior metallurgy skills are supported by Newcrest-funded graduate metallurgists who provide well directed resources for the undertaking of data collection and plant operation. Gekko’s Newcrest dedicated team is supported on an ad hoc basis by other members of Gekko’s Technical Team.
Benefits of long-term collaboration agreements;
- Creates sustained change through long-term planning and effective implementation
- Continuity of relationship and knowledge sharing
- Work outside of specific project scopes
- Focus on projects without operational distraction
- Client has continual benefit of contractors areas of expertise
- Ability to convert innovative ideas and concepts into more efficient processing