Karouni Gold Project

Engineering Design – Comminution Simulation

This project required METS to investigate the appropriateness of second hand milling equipment for the Karouni Gold Project. The investigation looked at multiple throughput scenarios and provided a breakdown of cost-related requirements relating to each processing arrangement. The simulation process allowed for an informed decision to be made by the client.

The optimal process flowsheet required METS to investigate the suitability of second-hand equipment by looking at the power consumption (OPEX) and the number of unit operations that would be required (CAPEX) in order to satisfy the required particle size design requirement (P80). Material property data for the Smarts and Hicks deposits were obtained from a metallurgical laboratory and the most difficult materials to process were used to develop the basis of design. This was done in order to ensure that all operating conditions could be catered for by the proposed comminution circuit.

Each throughput scenario was simulated using Metso’s Bruno crushing software and JKSimMet grinding software. Following this, the required equipment, achievable particle size, throughput and power consumption rates were tabulated. Based upon the results, a recommendation was provided by METS as to what was believed to be the best avenue to pursue. This allowed for a well-informed, cost-based decision to be made by the client and also provided a preliminary step-wise plan for increasing the plant throughput in the future.


Project Brief

Outcome

  • Second-hand equipment options were simulated and a configuration was recommended based on performance targets, as well as OPEX and CAPEX considerations;
  • A step-wise plan for up-scaling the throughput from 0.5 Mtpa to 1.5 Mtpa was investigated and put forward at the client’s request; and
  • It was found that the second-hand equipment could satisfy the process needs which allowed the client to proceed to procure the required equipment with confidence.

Background

Troy Resources Ltd is a junior gold producer with offices in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Guyana and Canada. Located in Guyana, the Karouni Project is wholly owned by Troy Resources, who is operating a 1 Mtpa gold operation processing ore from nearby open cut deposits (Smarts and Hicks).

Project Objectives

Troy Resources approached METS to determine the suitability of a number of available second-hand mills for the grinding circuit at Karouni. The circuit was to be capable of handling various throughput scenarios (0.5 and 1.0 Mtpa) with a view to eventually being able to handle a 1.5 Mtpa feed with minor circuit alterations and additions. METS was therefore required to develop an appropriate comminution flow sheet (crushing and grinding), based on the available equipment and operational requirements.

Challenges

The challenges encountered during the simulation process revolved around the requirement to make assumptions to account for missing material and computer model parameters. The optimal grind size, as well as various other material properties, was unknown at the time of the simulation, which meant that METS was required to draw on past experiences to provide a reasonable estimate for such parameters.

Our Approach

The optimal process flowsheet required METS to investigate the suitability of second-hand equipment by looking at the power consumption (OPEX) and the number of unit operations that would be required (CAPEX) in order to satisfy the required particle size design requirement (P80). Material property data for the Smarts and Hicks deposits were obtained from a metallurgical laboratory and the most difficult materials to process were used to develop the basis of design. This was done in order to ensure that all operating conditions could be catered for by the proposed comminution circuit.

Each throughput scenario was simulated using Metso’s Bruno crushing software and JKSimMet grinding software. Following this, the required equipment, achievable particle size, throughput and power consumption rates were tabulated. Based upon the results, a recommendation was provided by METS as to what was believed to be the best avenue to pursue. This allowed for a well-informed, cost-based decision to be made by the client and also provided a preliminary step-wise plan for increasing the plant throughput in the future.