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Project development: Our approach

Improved

elution GOLD recovery

Project achieved:

Our innovative technology transfer projects are geared towards: 

Potential O&M Cost savings

>> reduced sulphamic acid consumption, >> improved solution flow & gold recovery rates  

>> reduced energy consumption by solution heaters

>> reduced re-circulating pump energy

 

Energy savings

in fuel consumption in thermic oil heating

 
50-62%
Reduction
in sulphamic acid consumption in HX shutdown cleaning
 
13.5%
Increase above
critical threshold flow rate
 

CIP/CIL ELUTION PROCESS OPTIMIZATION

Calcium and magnesium mineral scaling and fouling significantly impact the thermal and mechanical performance of heat exchangers. Fouling increases the overall thermal resistance and lowers the overall heat transfer coefficient of heat exchangers. 

 

Fouling also impedes fluid flow, accelerates corrosion and increases pressure drop across water-cooled heat exchange equipment (cooling towers, heat exchangers, compressors, condensers).   Scale fouling, while reducing heat transfer efficiency, also increases fuel consumption in fuel fired heat exchange operations.

 

Additionally, fouling reduces the service life of heat exchange tubes as a result of accelerated pitting corrosion and local overheating that ultimately lead to tubes warping and blow holes. 

 

In a special case for CIL/CIP processes, the scaling also reduces the solution flow rate in the elution circuit; as well as surface activity of the carbon adsorption columns through scale impregnation that results in equivalent decrease in carbon loading effectiveness.

 

Fouling Impact Challenges

Benefits

The project achieves this outcome by releasing the extra heat transfer surface designed to compensate for fouling of clean surfaces, which increases by calcium and magnesium mineral scaling at high temperature and high pH operating conditions from one shutdown cleaning to another.

 

The integration of the add-on technology in the CIL/CIP and auxiliary process equipment (Cooling Tower closed circuit, water cooled compressors, pumps) achieves the following benefits as a result of significant improvement in descaling and scale control:

Improved heat exchange efficiency additional to what is attainable currently by anti-scalants chemical treatment and periodic shut down acid cleaning of heat exchange tube surfaces to restore operational efficiency;

The process optimization leads to fossil fuel savings from efficient heat transfer to thermic oil heat exchangers, used for elution process solution heating; and effective solution-to-solution heat exchangers as well.

 

10oC

reduction

in the set point of carbon column solution heaters (from 128oC to 110oC)

Tarkwa plant

2017

 

Success Story

CIL elution process optimization has been demonstrated in recent project in Goldfields.