Avgold wanted the newest technology applied to the plant design, including the broadest possible application of computerized automation. The new gold recovery plant thus incorporates state-of-the-art technology, with a degree of automation that helps to minimize manpower and to reduce operating costs.
The overflow from the cyclone is thickened and pumped to the leach circuit, where the gold is dissolved using cyanide. From the leach circuit, the slime gravitates to the carbon absorption section where the dissolved gold is absorbed onto the carbon. The slime residue from the absorption section can be pumped either to the tailings dam or the backfill plant.
Finally, the gold bearing carbon is removed from the absorption section and pumped to the elution circuit to remove the gold from the carbon. The gold in solution is plated out in the electrowinning circuit, where it is smelted.
During construction, site employment peaked at more than 500 people, totaling 60,000 workhours during the construction phase. The construction portion of the project, completed within 12 months, expended more than 800,000 workhours without a single lost-time accident.
The design of the plant included complete process, structural, mechanical, and electrical design of its components: an ore storage silo with a 20-hour capacity and a stockpiles reclamation facility that bypasses the silo.
Key facilities in the plant were ore storage and handling, milling and classification, pre-leach thickening, leaching, adsorption, residue disposal, gravity concentration, electrowinning and smelting, and reagents storage and handling.