Minerals Processing Plant of the Year: Gekko Systems

Gekko Systems' Underground Processing Plant is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

Gekko Systems’ Underground Processing Plant is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

The underground ore-processing unit treats the material at the source instead of hauling it to the surface

The flow-on benefits of this unit is its ability to reduce the volume of concentrate taken to the surface for further treatment to as low as 10%.

In 2004, Gekko Systems began the Research and Development of a mobile underground plant prototype.

The underground processing system addresses the issue of size and adaptability, problems that have dogged other products attempting to provide solutions in underground processing.

Measuring approximately two metres wide, five metres high and 67 metres long (9 x 7.5m modules), its dimensions will make it workable in mine tunnels measuring five metres x five metres. Its modular design allows its layout to be flexible; it can adapt to the curves of the terrain and it can be applied to most mine tunnels and openings.

The processing plant unit applies pre-concentration to the ore underground and reduces the volume carried to the surface by up to 90%.

Initially the company was concerned with improving Mine Call Factors, however, when explored further with potential industry partners, other factors started to emerge as economic spin-offs with mining companies being able to save up to 15 to 25% of their total costs.

The principle of the Gekko Python Project involves size reduction, screening and gravity and flotation pre-concentration underground as close to the working face as possible.

In order to achieve this, low cost, modular units have been designed to be installed in drives near each of the working stopes, so that as the ore is blasted it is removed by LHD or similar and delivered into the feed hopper. This minimises the possibility of fines losses into footwall cracks.

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