As the standards of managing a resourceful mining operation grow exponentially, a gold mine’s production schedule is under constant scrutiny.
Producers are being tasked with linear growth similar to that of a Silicon Valley start-up.
Helping mitigate these demands, the mining industry has shown incredible ingenuity in pits and underground areas in order to give operators a fighting chance. However, inside the tinted-window, turn-styled and check-pointed entry and exit of a gold mine’s mill, it is a different story.
With most mills carrying the heaviest end of this production load, the need to address bottlenecks has taken the highest priority. One of the most prevalent issues is the constant maintenance performed on wedgewire interstage screens operating in CIP/CIL RIP/RIL circuits.
An Ontario based gold producer experiencing greater than average problems revolving around the wedge-wire interstage screens in their CIP, was tasked with addressing a litany of issues. More specifically: an aggressive daily cleaning schedule, blinding which lead to lost goldloaded-carbon by way of tank overflows and complete screen replacement twice a year.
While these issues seem benign at first glance, they were leading to lost production, increased maintenance costs and underwhelming quarterly reports.
Derrick’s Business Development Team produced a new interstage screen, The G-Vault. Upon slating a trial G-Vault to be operated in contest with the existing wedge-wire screens,
over the first six-weeks, it was clear that operationally it addressed every concern the CIP Operations Team was experiencing. The increased open area led to regulated flowrates and no reports of tank overflows.
Additionally, a periodic maintenance request was deleted from the docket as the screen required no cleaning. Therefore, a circuit bypass or shutdown was not necessary. At
the end of the trial, Mill Management proceeded to replace all of the previously installed wedge-wire screens with the Derrick G-Vaults and have subsequently taken measures to declare it a trouble-free zone.
With the G-Vault’s higher up-front costs in the spotlight, a conduit for a cost analysis was set and performed. In previous years, the six wedge-wire screens being installed and replaced twice a year, withdrew $US132,000 ($205,000) from a maintenance/operations
budget in addition to the 1,095 man-hours spent filling maintenance orders.
Comparatively, the six G-Vaults all-in cost of $US159,000 ($247,000) and performance benefits yielded a savings of $US43,800 ($68,165) on the initial investment and none of the
Most importantly, the replaceable components of the G-Vault ensure a continuous low-cost solution for sections of interstage screens that experience higher wear, therefore erasing the need for full-unit replacement.
The transition of existing wedge-wire screens to Derrick’s G-Vault provide a desirable ROI to Mine Management coupled with worry-free operation, keeping operators safe and the ability to allocate efforts to other areas.