Geometallurgy incorporates the principles of process mineralogy and material characterisation as a tool for predictive metallurgy. SRK can help you define the ore material variability in terms of process parameters such as ore hardness, leach and floatation kinetics and presence of impurities. Minimising differences between planned and actual production will improve business performance.
SRK, in collaboration with Cardiff University, can provide a range of services covering a comprehensive approach in geometallurgy. The laboratory is licensed for uranium metallurgy and to undertake work using cyanide.
When undertaking a geometallurgical study SRK considers mineralogical studies on the ore, metallurgical testwork (using multi-faceted approaches to determine optimal recovery methods on a case by case basis), and develops geostatistical models used for short and long-term mine planning.
SRK employs a number of process engineers, metallurgists, geochemists, and mineralogists with significant experience. In their previous roles at various international operations, their duties included R&D, processing plant management, and numerous studies on optimising the processing of various ore types. A research group established between SRK and Cardiff University has published more than 40 papers together and has developed a novel method for vapour extraction of metals from smelter slag that is currently being patented.
Since 1997 SRK has undertaken geometallurgy studies for a variety of commodities in many parts of the world including: Botswana, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Namibia, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, USA and Zimbabwe.
- Optical and electron microscopy and XRD;
- laser ablation - IC-MS; for trace element analysis in solid minerals;
- diagnostic leaching: using targeted chemicals to establish mineralogical distributions of metals proportionally to the total content;
- crush grind assessment;
- floatation testwork;
- hydrometallurgy: leaching ore at various pressures, temperatures and pH ranges to evaluate recovery; and
- recovery methods: ion exchange, solvent extraction, MRT & resins.