The process

There are two stages in the recovery of gold from surface tailings.

Surface recovery

The retreatment business is high-volume and low-risk. Vast quantities of material are processed monthly through the plant in order to recover gold from old mine dumps at a recovery rate that varies depending on the material being treated. As each old dump or dam is depleted, others are brought on stream. Teething problems are inevitable during the commissioning of new dumps and decommissioning of exhausted reclamation sites, and these can negatively affect recovery rates in the short term. Excessive rain can also affect recovery rates although DRDGOLD has taken the appropriate measures to better manage weather-related issues in future. Continue reading...

The metallurgical process

The Brakpan plant uses carbon in leach and flotation and fine-grind as part of the retreatment process. Carbon in pulp was used for a time but the CIP circuit has been converted to CIL to optimise leaching and adsorption. The flotation and fine-grind circuits were constructed and commissioned during FY2013 and FY2014 in order to recover more gold from the tailings. The new circuits involve floating out the pyrites and milling them before using CIL (or CIP) for gold recovery. Continue reading...