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Grade engineering at Gramalote gold deposit, Colombia: an example of industry – research collaboration, Part 1

Clarke, N, Barros, A, Hunt, J ORCID: 0000-0001-8578-071X and Keeney, L 2020 , 'Grade engineering at Gramalote gold deposit, Colombia: an example of industry – research collaboration, Part 1', in Proceeedings of the Preconcentration Digital Conference 2020 , Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 383-396 .

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Abstract

The Gramalote orebody is a large low-grade gold deposit situated in the San Roque municipality, 124 km north-east of Medellin in Antioquia, Colombia. It is jointly owned by AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) and B2Gold and is currently in Feasibility Study phase.In 2013 AGA requested CRCORE to undertake a preliminary study of the potential application at Gramalote of pre-concentration by screening, part of the Grade Engineering suite. 160 samples of coarse assay rejects (-3 mm) were tested and showed one of the strongest responses seen worldwide to that time, suggesting that about 70% of the gold could be recovered into 40% of the mass. This was seen as potentially markedly improving the Gramalote economics.A large-scale testing program was implemented on site to follow up these results. A total of 18 samples of 17 t each were mined along a pre-existing exploration adit. A complex test flowsheet allowed size fractions to be generated from the as-received material as well as after crushing to 53, 23 and 3 mm, all from the same head sample. The procedures were designed after carrying out a heterogeneity study to measure sampling errors. The coarser size fractions were designed to study the effect of crushing on upgrade response and predict the response on open-pit run-of-mine ore. The finer size fractions were designed to investigate means of predicting the upgrade response across the orebody.The large-scale testing closely confirmed the average upgrade response as predicted from drill core assay rejects but found that only the -53 mm crushed material accurately predicted the upgrade response of individual samples. Ore geochemistry was able to usefully distinguish samples with good and poor response. A small study on drill core suggested that, for Gramalote, fine crushed material distinguishes vein associated and disseminated values but not other factors that control actual outcomes.

Item Type: Conference Publication
Authors/Creators:Clarke, N and Barros, A and Hunt, J and Keeney, L
Keywords: geometallurgy, grade engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Proceeedings of the Preconcentration Digital Conference 2020
Publisher: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
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