The development and installation of a Python 200 unit, operating at 20t/hr, has resulted in a decision by Johannesburg-listed goldmine, Central Rand Gold (CRG), to order and install two further Python units. The additional units are designed to operate at a throughput rate of 50t/h.
The Python 200 plant was installed by CRG in Johannesburg in October 2008 and has been commissioned and operated under contract by Gekko’s South African office. The unit operates at a throughput capacity of 20t/h.
The 50t/h Python 500 design is nearing completion and construction of the initial unit is well under way. It is CRG’s intention to operate them underground by the end of 2010. The systems have been designed to be transported down a conventional mine decline.
The Python keyhole processing concept offers significant environmental benefit with reduced comminution costs and a small footprint. High tech, modular and fully automated, the plant crushes, grinds and pre-concentrates ore, leaving just 5%-30% of concentrate for pumping to the surface.
Cruz, jointly owned by Hochschild Mining Argentina Corporation (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hochschild Mining and Minera Andes), commenced gold and silver mining operations during 2007. Hochschild Mining utilizes Gekko Systems’ ILRs for its Selene silver and gold mining operations.
“Keyhole processing eliminates the need to carry the entire ore body mass up to ground level,” said Gekko’s technical director, Sandy Gray. “Tailings are disposed in voids; haulage, operating and processing costs are substantially reduced; and environmental impacts are minimised.” Key features of the Python include a two-stage, high reduction crushing circuit, inline pressure jig multi-stage gravity circuit, and high-capacity flash flotation. The units can be built and shipped to site with speed and ease.
The new Python 500 design is a stepping stone to a broad range of throughput options. Modular expansions can also be included, such as milling or flotation, as dictated by the variability of the ore. “We view the Python system more in line with the purchasing of earth-moving equipment where you have the available range of throughput options that can be customised for ore variability,” said Sandy Gray. The key benefits of the pre-design Python modules are savings on design time and costs, as well as the low-energy flow sheet, which saves both capital and operational costs.