A thorough and accurate gold ore analysis is critical for understanding the potential of your future gold mining operation. If you’re a junior company that has discovered potential for a profitable mine, you’ll need to understand the best methods of extraction before diving into full-scale gold recovery. This is where Sepro Labs steps in. Our mineral and metallurgical testing options will help you understand the best mineral recovery circuit for success.

So how do we perform gold ore analysis in our lab? Well, like most things in our industry, it all starts by making things as consistent and repeatable as possible. 

Sample Test Prep

Comminution is the first step in preparing samples for various simulated test processes. Samples are crushed in a small jaw crusher, the primary crusher used on many operations. A rotary sample splitter, slurry sample splitter, riffle splitter or cone and quarter method can all be used to create homogeneity among the samples. Afterward, the samples are screened for accurate sizing. 

The samples may need to be washed as well. At our testing facility in Vancouver, Canada we are equipped with a pilot-scale rotary scrubber, which is optimized for accurate small scale testing. Plastic clays can make gold recovery difficult as gold particles or granules can become encased in a clay agglomerate. Scrubbers are used as intensive washers to liberate valuable gold particles for optimal downstream recovery. 

Testing Procedures

There are a number of ways we perform metallurgical tests for gold. Every ore is unique, and the tests should be as well! Below are a few different ways we can test your samples. 

Gravity Concentration

Sepro Labs has the advantage of having an L40 Falcon Gravity Concentrator on-site. Gravity concentration is often the simplest test for a sample, wherein a feed tank delivers the sample at a uniform feed rate to a Falcon Centrifugal Concentrator. Modern gravity concentration equipment can easily generate saleable concentrates and provide a quick cash flow at a relatively low capital cost. 

Froth Flotation

After gravity concentration, tailings can be sent to a froth flotation unit. Gold is naturally hydrophobic, meaning that gold particles avoid water and will adhere to air bubbles if they come in contact. Because the minerals were previously ground into small particles, they will float up with the air bubbles and concentrate in the froth. As the froth is skimmed, the gold particles can be collected. 

Reagents like xanthates are added to the slurry. Xanthate enhances a mineral’s hydrophobic properties, making flotation quicker and easier.

Such flotation tests are done in a timed sequence. This helps determine how fast the gold can be recovered from gravity tails. Large scale froth flotation can then be honed for optimal efficiency.

Cyanide Leaching

Cyanide leaching is another common method of gold recovery. Using a combination of gravity concentration, froth flotation, and cyanide leaching, we can determine the ideal gold recovery circuit for future large scale operations. 

While we do perform these tests on a regular basis, it’s important to note that there is no “one size fits all” solution. All of our projects start with understanding your unique and specific needs. Afterward, we’ll put together a custom metallurgical testing procedure that fits your project goals and budget. Since every project is different, so are the solutions.

If you’re looking for accurate mineral and metallurgical testing options, contact Sepro Labs today.