SGS’s experienced metallurgical professionals develop bankable flowsheets for environmentally sustainable metal and mineral extraction circuits. Such flowsheets can be demonstrated and confirmed at SGS laboratories by pilot plant. These programmes are key ways to mitigate technical risk and are internationally recognised by the mining, engineering and financial communities.
Pilot plant testing is used to demonstrate and confirm that the flowsheet developed at the bench is viable. SGS pilot plants are unique in that they operate in an integrated fashion, all unit operations work to provide continuous feed or product typically resulting in the generation of a concentrate or LME-grade metal. Bleed streams and impurity build-ups are also reviewed. Pilot plants are performed at a variety of scales, typically ranging from < 100 kg/hr to > 1 tonne/hr.
For new projects, piloting demonstrates operational viability, “proof-of-concept”, and produces market samples of the final product that can be expected, thus reducing technical risk. Piloting also generates metallurgical data that can be used to design the full-scale plant, thus reducing design and capital risk.
Existing operations can also be simulated at the pilot-scale to evaluate new equipment or technology, assess the impact of different ore types or troubleshoot problems without interrupting production at the main plant.
Our professional experts have the expertise to perform a range of pilot plant activities:
- Demonstration of operational viability for stakeholders
- Bulk sample preparation
- Mini bulk / DMS plant operation
Typical activities that can be undertaken during pilot testing include:
- Establish flowsheet viability. This is especially important for complex deposits, those utilising new or unusual technologies or projects that are located in high-risk areas
- Demonstrate continuous integrated operation to stakeholders
- Evaluate the impact of local water supply
- Develop a water balance
- Quantify the impact of ore variability
- Produce byproducts for specialised testing (e.g. environmental assessments)
- Generate bulk samples for market evaluation
- Train critical mill staff
Pilot testing is the best way to:
- Prove critical components of a metallurgical flowsheet
- Establish the viability of new equipment or technology
- Verify the ability to meet environmental requirements
- Minimise technical, environmental, operational and commercial risk
Pilot plants can have a significant impact on the metallurgical success of your project, provided they are well planned and operated properly. SGS has the complex and integrated infrastructure including on-site analytical, mineralogical and trade support, experienced professionals and a comprehensive equipment inventory, that is required to provide you with an effective pilot plant. Partner with SGS for more confidence in your metallurgical response and recovery.Email us
BIOX-POX Process (869 KB)
Pilot Plant Evaluation of a Hybrid BIOX-POX Process for Auriferous Arsenopyrite/Pyrite Feedstocks
A process has been evaluated, on a continuous pilot plant scale, to treat refractory gold arsenopyrite/pyrite concentrates. This paper provides a brief description of the treatment flowsheet and discusses some of the main parameters and results of the process.
Hydrometallurgy (625 KB)
Rheological Aspects of Nickel Hydrometallurgy
This paper covers the areas of rheological investigation that are required for metallurgical processes such as sample characterization, generation of test results, and interpretation of data. The importance of generating base line rheology during the initial stages of a testwork program is stressed, because of the impact of rheology on equipment selection and design for pilot plants.
SAL Process (1775 KB)
Skye Resources' Sulphation Atmospheric Leach (SAL) Process
This paper discusses the design of a Sulphation Atmospheric Leach (SAL) process test program and pilot plant and highlights the benefits of a carefully phased approach to the development of a novel hydrometallurgical process.
Platsol Piloting (1976 KB)
PLATSOL™ Treatment of the northmet Copper-Nickel-PGM Bulk Concentrate
PolyMet Mining is developing the NorthMet property near Duluth, Minnesota. Laboratory investigations had led to the development of the PLATSOL™ process to dissolve, in one step, the base metals (copper and nickel) as well as the gold and PGM.
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