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MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION

______________________________________________________________
INTERIM REPORT
DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT:
INVESTIGATION INTO THE USE OF CAROS ACID FOR CYANIDE
DESTRUCTION
______________________________________________________________

Submitted by:
Bateman Minerals Limited
Bartlett Road,
Boksburg
Republic of South Africa
P.O. Box 25937, East Rand, 1462

26h September 2003

MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION


DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
2
3

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
CYANIDE DESTRUCTION PROCESSES

4
6
7

3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4

FERROUS SULPHATE
ALKALINE CHLORINATION
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
SULPHUR DIOXIDE
3.4.1 INCO PROCESS
3.4.2 NORANDA
3.5 CAROS ACID (EFFLOX PROCESS)
3.6 SUMMARY OF DESTRUCTION OPTIONS
3.7 PROCESS SELECTION

7
7
8
10
10
11
12
13
14

REVIEW OF CYANIDE DESTRUCTION TESTWORK

15

4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 TEST PROCEDURES
4.3 TESTWORK RESULTS
4.3.1 CAROS ACID SIGHTER TESTS
4.4 BULK SAMPLE CAROS ACID TEST
4.4.1 CYANIDE AND CHEMICAL SPECIATION RESULTS
4.5 CONCLUDING COMMENTS ON TESTWORK

15
16
16
16
18
18
21

CYANIDE DETOXIFICATION CIRCUIT PROCESS DESIGN

22

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4

22
23
24
25

PROCESS DESIGN CRITERIA


PROJECTED REAGENT CONSUMPTIONS
PROPOSED DORIS NORTH PROCESS DESCRIPTION
OPERATING PHILOSOPHY

APPENDICES
Appendix A
BLOCK PROCESS FLOWSHEET
Appendix B
DRAFT AMMTEC REPORT NO. (CYANIDE DETOXIFICATION SECTION)

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DISCLAIMER

This report (Investigation into the Use of Caros Acid for Cyanide Destruction) has been prepared
for Miramar Mining Corporation upon written instruction by their environmental consultant,
AMEC Vancouver, to assist with the submission of the Environmental Impact Statement for the
Doris North Gold Project.
Bateman followed standard professional procedures in preparing the report, the contents of which is
based in part on data, information and assumptions provided by Miramar Mining Corporation.
Save as expressly set out in the report, Bateman did not attempt to verify the accuracy or sufficiency
of such data, information and assumptions and Bateman does not warrant or guarantee the
correctness of such data, information assumptions nor any findings, observations and conclusions
based upon such information data and assumptions.
This report has been prepared for the sole and exclusive use of Miramar Mining Corporation and
Bateman accepts no liability whatsoever, to any other organisation or person to whom this report is
presented for any loss or damage arising from the use, reliance upon or the interpretation of this
report or for any design, engineering or other work performed by others using this report.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Bateman Minerals (Pty) Limited (Bateman) was commissioned by Miramar Mining Corporation
(Miramar) to devise and co-ordinate an appropriate testwork programme for Doris North ore, and to
interpret the results for incorporation into a process plant re-design exercise to follow later in 2003.
An important part of the programme was aimed at validating the use of Caros Acid as the preferred
cyanide detoxification method at Doris North in light of difficulties encountered during the prefeasibility study.
One area of process design that was not finalised to an acceptable level in the 2002 testwork
programme was cyanide detoxification, due to complications arising from the use of intensive
cyanide leaching conditions which generated byproducts that were difficult to remove in cyanide
deoxification. The process design was changed from one featuring intensive leaching of
gravity/flotation concentrate followed by filtration and direct electrowinning, to one of CIL
treatment of the concentrate at more conventional cyanide levels. However, there was insufficient
time to undertake cyanide detoxification testwork on the lower cyanide leach product, hence the
initiation of the new test programme in 2003.
The 2003 programme incorporated the carbon-in-leach (CIL) cyanide treatment of gravity/flotation
concentrates at more conventional cyanide levels (750 to 1500 ppm NaCN) followed by Caros
Acid detoxification and recombination with flotation tailings for final discharge. Testwork was
completed satisfactorily with very low WAD cyanide, thiocyanate and total cyanide levels being
achieved in final effluent. In particular, the target of less than 0.5 ppm WAD cyanide was achieved
comfortably with only modest use of Caros Acid addition and without the need for copper sulphate
to precipitate iron cyanides. Total cyanide (WAD plus iron cyanides) was also well within the
desired 1 ppm upper limit.
The table below summarises cyanide speciation for cyanide leach solution (detox feed), cyanide
detoxified solution, blended tails solution (after mixing with flotation tailings in prescribed
proportions), and blended tails after one month of aging.
Cyanide
Leach Soln

Cyanide
Detoxified
Soln

[HS9467]

[MH3051]

CN(free), ppm

120

<5

<5

<5

CN(wad), ppm

180

0.25

0.04

0.01

CN(total), ppm

210

2.5

0.29

0.20

CNO, ppm

360

400

32

9.1

SCN, ppm

37

0.2

<0.1

0.3

ANALYSIS

Blended
Effluent

Blended
Effluent
(aged 1 month)

Worthy of note is the 70% drop in cyanate levels in only one month, suggesting that long term
buildup should not be an issue.
Comment on levels of metal cations and other potentially deleterious components of the blended
talings lies outside Batemans scope of work and will be addressed in a separate report by
Miramars environmental advisor AMEC Vancouver.
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This interim report will be incorporated into a larger report to follow early next year, which will
encompass the complete optimisation testwork programme and the Doris North process plant
revalidation exercise. To assist with preparation of the final EIS submission, the current report has
met the following objectives:

an interpretation of the CarosAcid cyanide destruction testwork performed on cyanide leach


residue pulps produced from a bulk sample of Doris North ore;

a description of the Caros Acid process, including chemistry, past experience and performance
at other operations where Caros Acid has been used in a similar application;

the rationale and history behind the decision to select Caros Acid as the preferred cyanide
detoxifcation process for the Doris North Gold, and a discussion on other alternatives
considered and rejected;

a description of how the Caros Acid detoxification process will be incorporated into the Doris
North flowsheet, including operating philosophy, expected reagent consumptions and key
process criteria.

Overall, Bateman consider the use of Caros Acid for cyanide detoxification at Doris North as safe
from an occupational health and safety point of view and the process is considered robust due to its
inherent design simplicity and very high turn up/turn down ability for reagent dosage. It has also
been demonstrated that it easily achieves the required cyanide discharge limits for minimal impact
on the environment.

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INTRODUCTION

Miramar Mining Corporation procured the services of Bateman Minerals (Pty) Ltd to devise and coordinate a metallurgical testwork programme for a bulk sample of ore from the Doris North Gold
Project. The 2003 optimisation testwork programme followed on from the 2002 feasibility study
programme which left a number of issues unresolved, and hence aimed at establishing optimal
process conditions for major design parameters in the process plant. All testwork was undertaken at
Ammtec Limiteds laboratories in Perth, Western Australia.
One area in particular area of process design that was not finalised to an acceptable level in the
2002 testwork programme was cyanide detoxification. Throughout the course of the 2002
feasibility study, the intent was to generate a gravity/flotation concentrate consisting of around 10%
of new feed mass, and to treat this concentrate with cyanide solution under intense concentration
conditions of 2% NaCN. After recovering soluble gold from the leach pulp using filtration and
electrowinning, the leach residue and a bleed solution stream would be detoxified with Caros Acid
then the discharge blended with benign flotation tailings pulp for final discharge to the tails storage
pond. Target cyanide discharge limits imposed were 1 ppm total cyanide and 0.5 ppm WAD (weak
acid dissociable) cyanide, which includes free cyanide. Acceptable leach recoveries were achieved
within comfortable residence times. Unfortunately, cyanide detoxification using Caros Acid (a
stoichiometric mix of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide) proved onerous due to excessive
amounts of deleterious byproducts such as iron cyanides and thiosulphate being generated. Despite
dosing large quantities of Caros Acid to the tailings pulp, it was not possible to achieve acceptably
low cyanide discharge levels in tailings.
The 2003 testwork programme incorporated a revised design featuring carbon-in-leach (CIL)
cyanide treatment of gravity/flotation concentrates at more conventional cyanide levels (750 to
1500 ppm NaCN) followed by Caros Acid detoxification and recombination with flotation tailings
for final discharge.
This interim report will be incorporated into a larger report to follow early next year, which will
encompass the complete optimisation testwork programme and the Doris North process plant
revalidation exercise. To assist with preparation of the final EIS submission, the current report has
the following objectives:

provide an interpretation of the CarosAcid cyanide destruction testwork performed on cyanide


leach residue pulps produced from a bulk sample of Doris North ore;

provide a description of the Caros Acid process, including chemistry, past experience and
performance at other operations where Caros Acid has been used in a similar application;

cyanide detoxifcation process for the Doris North Gold, and a discussion on other alternatives
considered and rejected;

provide a description of how the Caros Acid detoxification process will be incorporated into
the Doris North flowsheet, including operating philosophy, expected reagent consumptions and
key process criteria.

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CYANIDE DESTRUCTION PROCESSES

A number of available detoxification options are described below together with advantages and
disadvantages of each option. Preliminary capital and operating costs are presented for the
detoxification requirements detailed above for the favoured options.
3.1

FERROUS SULPHATE

Addition of ferrous sulphate is one method used to immobilise cyanide within a tailings
impoundment and is a method currently in use at a number of mines. The method is based upon
adding an excess of iron (II) sulphate to form the insoluble precipitate Prussian Blue, ferric hexa
cyanoferrate (II) or Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3. The reactions leading to the formation of this precipitate are
shown in the equations below. Oxygen is needed to oxidise some iron (II) to iron (III).
FeSO4 + 6NaCN == Na4[Fe(CN)]6 + Na2SO4
2FeSO4 + 2Fe(HS04)2 + 3Na4Fe(CN)]6 + O2 = Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 + 2Na2SO4 + H2O
The removal of free cyanide is reported in the literature to be generally about 90% in 60 minutes.
The extent of removal does not appear to improve with increasing iron to cyanide molar ratios
between 5:1 and 20:1. A drop in pH commensurate with the precipitation of iron hydroxide occurs
during the cyanide removal. Testwork for an Australian client carried out by Ammtec for iron to
cyanide ratio up to 5:1 showed only a small reduction in WAD cyanide for the higher addition rates.
It is unlikely that higher addition levels of ferrous sulphate will be cost competitive with competing
processes.
This option has fallen largely into disuse due to the instability of the iron cyanide complexes which
have low but measurable dissociation constants and slowly release cyanide to the environment. The
process is still in use at Salsigne in France where it is primarily used to precipitate arsenic and
residual cyanide following an INCO detox.
3.2

ALKALINE CHLORINATION

Alkaline oxidation of cyanide by chlorine or hypochlorite has been widely applied in the plating
industry and is a well-developed technique in that application. It is reportedly a favoured approach
in the former CIS counties such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan where sulphur dioxide-based
technologies are not highly regarded. The technique has also been applied in the Canadian mining
industry at the sites shown in Table 3.2.
The method relies on the reactions shown in the equations below. Cyanide is oxidised first to
cyanogen chloride, then to cyanate and, provided sufficient hypochlorite is available, to nitrogen
and carbon dioxide.
NaCN + NaOCl = CNCl + 2NaOH
CNCl + 2 NaOH = NaCNO + NaCl + H2O
2NaCNO + 3NaOCl + H2O = N2 + CO2 + 3NaCl + 2NaOH
The alkaline chlorination method is effective and very fast.
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Cyanide removal is almost


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instantaneous in clear solution at an OCl:CN molar ratio of 3:1 with the secondary reactions
requiring approximately 15 minutes for completion. No detectable cyanide remains and about 90%
of cyanate is oxidised.
A severe disadvantage of this technique is that a toxic intermediate, cyanogen chloride, is produced.
Further disadvantages are the inability to remove iron cyanide complexes, which are one of the
main components of gold mill effluents. Hypochlorite consumption can be high when other
oxidisable compounds are present, such as thiocyanate and reactive sulphide mineral. These
concerns are relevant for Doris North as it is proposed to treat a flotation concentrate.
Giant Yellowknife Mines used a two-stage reactor circuit to remove both arsenic and cyanide. The
plant treated 9,000m3 per day with a 25-minute retention time. The chlorine-cyanide and ironarsenic ratios were 11.4:1 and 11.6:1 respectively. The first stage operated at pH 11.5 and the
second stage at pH 8.5. The effluent treatment plant achieved 98% removal of cyanide and arsenic,
99.6% removal of copper but did not remove iron, much of the nickel or any zinc. Plant costs were
C$2 million (1981) for capital and C$0.47/m3 (1986). Operating cost was equally divided between
cyanide and arsenic removal.
This option is not recommended because of the formation of the toxic intermediates which are
believed to be carcinogenic and the inability to treat iron cyanides.
3.3

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

The hydrogen peroxide treatment process oxidises free cyanide and metal cyanides less stable than
iron cyanide. A copper catalyst can be used in some cases. The process operates at a pH of 9 to
9.5. The process chemistry can be summarised by the equations below.
CN- + H2O2 = CNO- + H2O

(in the presence of Cu2+ ions)

M(CN)42- + 4H2O2 + H- = M(OH)2 + 4CNO- + 4H20


Fe(CN)64- + 2Cu2+ = Cu2Fe(CN)6
CNO- + 2H2O2 = CO32- + NH4+
2H2O2 = H2O + O2
The metal M in the second equation above may be copper, nickel or zinc which are removed as
hydroxides. The iron cyanide complex is not oxidised but removed by precipitation as copper
ferrocyanide. The decomposition reaction of hydrogen peroxide should be noted because it shows
that hydrogen peroxide may be decomposed to oxygen and water and the oxygen lost from the
system without performing any useful oxidation.
The molar ratio of hydrogen peroxide to cyanide to oxidise the cyanide to cyanate is 3:1 to 8:1. The
efficiency of the peroxide destruction process decreases at high copper cyanide to free cyanide
ratios and the rate of reaction slows. This is less of a problem for Doris North where copper values
in the leach effluent are relatively low. It is important to note that the addition rate of peroxide
relative to cyanide rises as the cyanide concentration falls. The process struggles at low cyanide
concentrations, and proportionately higher peroxide addition rates are required.
A catalyst, TMT 15, would be required to remove copper cyanide complexes but no published
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addition rates could be found at the time this report was prepared.
Hydrogen peroxide has been applied to all forms of gold milling waste but the most cost effective
application is on clear water solution. In the 2002 feasibility study for Doris North, peroxide was
shown to be highly effective in mopping up excess free cyanide in spent electrolyte (belt filter
filtrate after gold removal). However, consumption escalated when attempting to use only
hydrogen peroxide to achieve the required very low cyanide discharge limits for Doris North.
In at least one publication Degussa advocated a thickener/filtration unit before treatment of CIP and
CIL slurries. Reduced efficiency of detoxification has been observed when treatment of slurry is
compared with clear water treatment. The loss of efficiency is due to decomposition of the
peroxide by other components of the slurry before reaction with cyanide. Trials involving
phosphate addition have been reported as a means of reducing this decomposition in other projects
but no results are available. In addition, the peroxide process has difficulty reducing copper
concentrations to environmental discharge limits without addition of a special complexing reagent
TMT 15 which is marketed by Degussa. Nickel removal may also be incomplete without addition
of TMT15.
The advantages of the hydrogen peroxide process are:
The ability to remove total cyanide and toxic metals.
Reaction products and intermediates are non-toxic and do not release a salt such as sodium
chloride or sodium sulphate to the receiving water.
Excess hydrogen peroxide decomposes to water and oxygen.
The oxidation reaction operates at the pH of gold mill effluents.
Aeration of the waste stream is not needed.
No toxic gases are used.
Plant data has shown that the hydrogen peroxide process operating at a hydrogen peroxidecyanide ratio of 4.6:1 has achieved 90 to 97% cyanide removal, 55% copper removal without
TMT 15 and 95% copper removal with TMT 15, and iron removal of 57% (Teck Corona and
Con Mines).
The disadvantages of the process are:
The excessive reagent consumptions when sulphides are present
The increase in reagent consumptions required to reach low cyanide levels
Design of the process must take into consideration the peroxide dosage, mixing requirements,
catalyst requirements, retention time, pH and percent solids. In order to be most cost effective, an
automated dosing system and pH control is of primary importance. The variation in process
requirements and the leasing of dosing equipment in some cases makes any generalised cost data of
limited value. However, the cost of hydrogen peroxide is reported to represent 90% of the operating
cost of a hydrogen peroxide based system.

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The process has been successfully applied at a number of mines since first installed at OK Tedi in
1984. The mines using the hydrogen peroxide process in Canada in 1987 are listed in Table 3.2. It
is worthy of note that none of the Canadian plants were treating slurry for cyanide removal although
plants elsewhere do treat mill slurry with hydrogen peroxide (OK Tedi where Degussa is a
shareholder).
No typical operating data is readily available in recent literature for this process.
3.4

SULPHUR DIOXIDE

There are two processes used commercially for cyanide destruction based on sulphur dioxide, the
INCO SO2:Air Process and the Noranda SO2 Process. As suggested by the names, the former
process uses an air sulphur dioxide mixture and the latter uses pure sulphur dioxide. Both use
copper (II) as a catalyst.
-

3.4.1

INCO PROCESS

The INCO Process uses a mixture of sulphur dioxide and air to destroy both free cyanide and metal
cyanide complexes less stable than iron cyanides. The metals complexed with cyanide are
precipitated as metal hydroxides and iron is removed by precipitation as zinc or copper
ferrocyanides.
The overall reaction for cyanide oxidation is reported to be that shown in the equation below.
CNt- + SO2 + H2O = CNO- + H2SO4
The stoichiometric sulphur dioxide requirement is 2.46 g/g CN-. The sulphur dioxide is normally
injected at 1 to 3 volume % in air but can also be added as sodium sulphite or sodium
metabisulphite. The copper catalyst must be present at about 50 mg Cu/litre. The preferred pH
range is 9 to 10 but the process will operate over the range 6 to 11.
Plant operating data for some existing commercial operations for slurry detoxification is
summarised in Table 3.1.
Table 3.1

INCO PROCESS PLANT OPERATING DATA

Company

Stream

pH

CNt,
ppm*

Cu,
ppm

Fe,
ppm

SO2,
g/g
CNt

Cu2+

Lime,
g/g
CNt

Equity Silver

Feed
Effluent
Feed
Effluent
Feed
Effluent
Feed
Effluent
Feed
Effluent

11
8.5
11
8.2
10.6
8.7
9.8
8.4
10.5
8.1

150
0.9
100
0.9
300
0.4
150
5
450
<1

35
1
5
1
39
1.5
8
15
300
0.8

2
0.2
15
0.2
1.1
0.2
<0.1
<0.1
10
0.3

3.8

0.03

0.25

0.05

0.12

0.3

Mount Skukum
Colosseum
Ketza River
Skyline

* Note: denotes monthly average total cyanide figures


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The range of sulphur dioxide additions is from 4 to 6 g/g total cyanide. The sulphur dioxide usage
is approximately double the calculated stoichiometric amount. Lime addition was often not
necessary but had a maximum value of 4 g/g total cyanide.
A license fee would normally apply, based on a unit cost per kg of sulphur dioxide required, with
actual charges per tonne being therefore highly variable between plants. However, the INCO patent
has now lapsed and it is now possible to install SO2:Air type treatment circuits without involving
INCO, as has been the case for many recent Australian and international gold plant installations.
It should be noted that sulphuric acid will form and cause a reduction in the slurry pH if lime is not
added for pH control. Thiocyanate is also oxidised but only slowly. Approximately 20%
thiocyanate will be oxidised before complete cyanide oxidation occurs. Nickel can accelerate
thiocyanate decomposition.
The oxidation is not temperature sensitive between 4 and 60 deg C and is completed in less than 1
hour.
Advantages of this process over hydrogen peroxide are presented below:

Thiocyanate does not consume large quantities of oxidant and is left largely unreacted;

The reaction reduces the pH of a gold mill slurry towards the optimum pH of the process
without additional acid;

The source of the sulphur dioxide can be chosen from gaseous sulphur dioxide, sodium
sulphite or sodium metabisulphite.

Total cyanide levels are typically reduced to less than 1 ppm.

Metal ions are normally removed to less than 1 ppm and low levels of arsenic are also
reported to be removed.

The reagent cost is reported to be less than 40% of that for hydrogen peroxide in a similar
location, and is slightly higher than Caros Acid plants.

The main disadvantages of the process are:

If excess amounts of thiocyanate are present, achieving low total cyanide discharge will be
difficult (if it is included in the total cyanide accounting). Typically LC50 toxicity in a 96 hr
test for rainbow trout is 144 ppm thiocyanate.

Capital cost required is considerably greater than peroxide or Caros Acid installations

3.4.2

NORANDA

The Noranda Process is similar to the INCO Process except that pure sulphur dioxide is used
instead of a sulphur dioxide air mixture. The process was trialed at the Hemlo mine and is reported
to be the only application. The optimum pH range was reported to be 7 to 9. The sulphur dioxide
to cyanide ratio was 6:1 and the copper to cyanide ratio was 0.5:1. The process achieved 99.8%
cyanide removal down to 0.1 ppm and 99.3% copper removal down to 0.04 ppm.

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Testwork undertaken by Ammtec for an Australian operation in the mid 1990s reported residual
WAD cyanide levels in the range 0.15 to 0.30 ppm and soluble copper levels in the range 0.14 to
0.23 ppm.
The main advantage of the process is effective removal of WAD and iron cyanide species down to
low levels. The main disadvantage is the need to either generate sulphur dioxide on site through
sulphur burning, or to transport liquid sulphur dioxide to site. Either option significantly increases
the level of hazardous chemical protection requirement for the operation.
3.5

CAROS ACID (EFFLOX PROCESS)

Caros acid is an oxidant prepared by reacting hydrogen peroxide with sulphuric acid. It is a more
powerful oxidant than hydrogen peroxide and does not require a catalyst to remove copper cyanide
complexes. WAD cyanide is quoted in the literature as being removed at near stoichiometric
addition rates for Caros Acid, amounts which are approximately half the addition required by
hydrogen peroxide. Further, the molar ratio of acid to cyanide remains constant over a range of
cyanide concentrations down to 0.l ppm.
The reagent is prepared as follows:
H2O2 + H2SO4 = H2SO5 + H2O
The following reactions are involved:
SO52- + CN- = SO42- + CNO4SO52- + SCN- + H2O = 5SO42- + CNO- + 2H+
The reaction times are fast (seconds) to the extent that pipe reactors can be used reducing the capital
cost requirements of the process. Residual cyanide levels in the range 1 - 2ppm can readily be
achieved, and the precipitation of the copper after the reaction is effective. An advantage of the
process is the reduction in the pH level of the solution that is a result of the reaction. Testwork on
Doris North ore produced a terminal pH range of 8.2 to 8.5, which is close to the ores natural
alkalinity in fresh water.
The reagent preparation station is normally supplied on lease or alternatively can be built up as a
capital item. Isotainers or bulka boxes of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide are used for small
operations such as Doris North as feed stock to the Caros Acid plant. Reagents are pumped via
small dosing pumps on a continuous basis via stainless steel braided Teflon lines into a Teflon
mixing block. The ratio of addition of the two reagents is dictated by the Caros Acid control
module. The in-line mixer is configured with a number of high shear chambers to promote rapid
reaction between acid and peroxide to form Caros Acid. The resultant Caros Acid is injected via
stainless steel braided Teflon lines directly into the pulp, either into a pump suctions or into an
agitated reaction vessel. The capital cost is very small as reaction time is fast, air injection is not
required, and no up front mixing and storage of feed stock and detox reagents is required.
Commercial applications of Caros Acid technology for cyanide destruction are found in Nevada
USA where the process is used by Newmont (Lone Tree Mine), Barrick (Gold Strike Mine), and
Santa Fe Gold. In addition, the process is being used successfully at Beaconsfield Gold Mine in
Tasmania, Australia. This plant was designed and constructed by Bateman through its joint venture
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with Kinhill Engineers, Bateman Kinhill, in the late 1990s. Miramar has also recently used Caros
Acid for seasonal cyanide detoxification of excess tails pond solution after spring thaw at the Con
Mine in Canada and has reported very favourable results.
3.6

SUMMARY OF DESTRUCTION OPTIONS

A list of plants in Canada using cyanide destruction processes was published in 1987 and has been
included as Table 3.2. The use of the processes appears to follow a chronological trend with
alkaline chlorination being replaced by sulphur dioxide:air, and sulphur dioxide:air being replaced
by hydrogen peroxide. Caros Acid has seen some use in North America and Australia, but is not as
widespread as sulphur dioxide:air.
The reference in which the table is published concluded that the selection of process must be
individually considered based on the nature of the effluent to be treated, the capabilities and costs of
the processes (reagents, power etc.) and the regulatory effluent quality limits that must be met.
Table 3.2

CANADIAN PLANTS USING CYANIDE DESTRUCTION

Mine
Giant
Mosquito Creek
Equity Silver
McBean
McLelland
Mount Skukum
Golden Giant
Con
David Bell
Detour Lake
Gordex (heap)
Hope Brook
Mascot Gold
Page Williams
Tartan Lake

Start Date

Process

Effluent

1981
1981
1981
1984
1987
1986
1986
1987
1987
1987
1987
1987
1987
1987
1987

Alk. Chlor.
Alk. Chlor.
SO2 / Air
SO2 / Air
SO2 / Air
SO2 / Air
SO2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2
H2O2

TPO
WBS
MS
WBS
TPO
MS
TPO
TPO
TPO
TPO
WBS
WBS
WBS
TPO
WBS

Legend
TPO = = tailings pond overflow
WBS == waste barren solution
MS = = mill slurry
A summary of capabilities of the INCO process, the Caros acid process, and the hydrogen peroxide
process has been included as Table 3.3 as these are the destruction processes which are generally
favoured by regulatory authorities.

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Table 3.3

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

SUMMARY OF CAPABILITIES
Species Removal (%)

Parameter

INCO
SO2/Air

Caros
Acid

Hydrogen
Peroxide

total
copper
iron
zinc
thiocyanate
cyanate
slurries

>99
>95
>95
>99

>99
>99
>99
>99

>99
55 to 95*
50 to 90*
50 to
100
100
Limited

Note:

3.7

20#

>99

natural
Yes

Yes

* requires addition of TMT 15 for high removal values


# can achieve total removal if required by addition of nickel

PROCESS SELECTION

The main reasons for selecting the Caros Acid over alternative processes for the Doris North
flowsheet are as follows:

Low capital outlay no holding/mixing tanks, blowers or exotic materials of construction


required

Elimination of reaction catalyst requirements

Significant reduction in reaction times

Simple non-proprietary control system

Ability to completely automate the detoxification process with little operator intervention
required, aside from routine WAD and iron cyanide analyses

Use of reagent is efficient with little wastage from gaseous decomposition, plus power cost is
minimal since air blowers are not required

Caros Acid is the only process that enables almost complete removal of deleterious cyanide
species from plant effluents. Cyanate is a by-product of the process but its breakdown is quite
rapid, plus biological tolerance for cyanate is quite high compared with other cyanide species
(reported as 46 ppm for rainbow trout in a 96 hr LC50 test regime).

Bateman have experience with the process from other operations where it has proved to be
robust in handling process upsets

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REPORT NO. M3952-002

REVIEW OF CYANIDE DESTRUCTION TESTWORK

4.1

INTRODUCTION

Caros Acid cyanide detoxification testwork has been undertaken on leach slurries from the current
Doris North metallurgical testwork programme. This programme has the primary objectives of
confirming achievable gold recoveries to gravity/flotation concentrates and subsequent cyanide
leach recoveries in carbon-in-leach circuit configuration. The detoxification work was aimed at
producing a final tailing, after blending with benign flotation tailings, which contains WAD and
total cyanide levels of 0.5 and 1.0 ppm respectively using Caros Acid as the cyanide oxidant.
The entire testwork was undertaken at Ammtec Limiteds laboratories in Perth, Western Australia.
The test programme was undertaken in two phases. The first phase consisted of a series of sighter
tests to evaluate various Caros Acid salt dosing molar ratios, the effect of copper sulphate addition
on iron precipitation, and pH effects. The second phase was the bulk run used to generate sample
for environmental testing.
In addition to the Caros Acid detox work, sub-samples of leach liquors from before detox, after
detox, and after combining with flotation tailings solution, were analysed at Ammtec for cyanide
and selected chemical speciation.
Additional samples of solution and solids were sent to BC Research for analysis under the direction
of AMEC in Vancouver. Furthermore, a sample of combined tailings was sent to AMEC in Perth
for tailings sedimentation testwork, again under the direction of AMEC Vancouver.

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4.2

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REPORT NO. M3952-002

TEST PROCEDURES

Ammtec to provide details.

4.3

TESTWORK RESULTS

4.3.1

CAROS ACID SIGHTER TESTS

Initial Tests
Mass balance calculations based on laboratory concentrate mass pulls indicated that final blended
tailings will have the following makeup:
Stream Pulp Density
(% solids w/w)
40.0
35.1
35.4

Leach residue
Flotation tailings
Final tailings

% of total solids

% of total solution

7.5
92.5
100.0

6.2
93.8
100.0

This means that the cyanide content remaining in the cyanide leach residue after detoxification will
be reduced in strength through dilution with flotation tailings solution by a factor of 16.2,
(reciprocal of 6.2%). Since the target WAD and total cyanide levels targeted are 0.5 and 1 ppm
respectively, allowable cyanide levels in detox discharge before dilution with flotation tailings are
16.2 times higher, or 8.1 ppm and 16.2 ppm for WAD and total cyanide respectively. Therefore,
initial levels aimed for in the test programme were approximately 8 ppm or less for WAD cyanide
and 16 ppm or less for total cyanide (which includes WAD and iron cyanides).
The initial round of sighter tests was undertaken on sub-samples of bulk leach residue slurry of pulp
density 40% solids w/w. Preliminary sighter test results are summarised below as Table 4.1.
Table 4.1
Test No.

SIGHTER DETOX TEST RESULTS - PRELIMINARY

Molar Ratio

Final Solution Assays (mg/L)

CN(wad):KHSO5

[actual assays, not corrected for dilution]


Cu

Feed

Ni

Zn

Fe

CN(free)

CN(wad)

54.1

0.45

2.1

7.8

154

220

CN(tot)

pH

pH

calc

Start

Final

10.35

MH3034

1:

3.0

0.10

0.50

<0.05

5.40

2.8

17.7

9.4

9.1

MH3035

1:

4.0

0.11

0.38

<0.05

5.10

2.6

16.6

9.5

9.3

MH3036

1:

5.0

0.09

0.37

<0.05

4.80

2.4

15.6

9.4

9.2

MH3037

1:

5.0

0.07

0.20

<0.05

4.00

3.0

14.0

9.5

9.3

The sighter test results indicated that copper, nickel and zinc cyanide complexes can be broken
down to low levels with relatively low dosage rates of Caros Acid (molar ratios of 3 to 4 per mole
of WAD cyanide), as did free cyanide (see Tests MH3034 and MH3035). The titration limit for
free cyanide is 1 ppm, so actual cyanide levels were most likely much lower. WAD cyanide levels
attained were very acceptable at less than 3 ppm, however, total cyanide at 16.6 to 17.7 ppm (versus
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the target of 16 ppm) was still higher than desired high due to the persistence of iron cyanide
species.
Increasing Caros Acid dosage ratio to 5:1 (Test MH3036) only produced a marginal drop in iron
cyanides and halved nickel cyanide. The addition of 20 ppm copper sulphate in Test MH3037 to
precipitate iron had some effect, dropping iron from 4.8 ppm to 4 ppm, but free cyanide was seen to
increase due to the release of cyanide from the iron cyanide complexes. Total cyanide was within
the 16 ppm calculated limit, but additional tests were commissioned to see if lower levels could be
achieved, the results of which are discussed in the next section.
Further Sighter Tests - Optimisation
Following the initial series of sighter tests, Ammtec were instructed to dilute the feed pulp to 30.2%
solids w/w with Perth tap water to emulate the effect of loaded carbon and safety screens spray
water additions in the plant (3 m3/h each), a significant factor in the plant design that was excluded
in the initial tests. This had the following effect on tailings makeup:
Stream Pulp Density
(% solids w/w)
30.0
35.1
33.5

Leach residue
Flotation tailings
Final tailings

% of total solids

% of total solution

7.5
92.5
100.0

14.0
86.0
100.0

The dilution factor now dropped to 7.14 (reciprocal of 14%) from 16.2 in the initial sighter tests. In
real terms, however, the amount of cyanide present in the detox feed was the same as the cyanide
concentration dropped from 220 ppm (see Table 4.1) to 132 ppm (Table 4.2) as a result of the
dilution. With the drop in dilution factor, target WAD and total cyanide levels became 3.5 ppm and
7 ppm respectively.
Test MH3038 was undertaken with 4:1 Caros Acid molar ratio without any copper sulphate
addition, but the pH was allowed to drop down to 7.2 by the end of the contact period rather than
maintain pH above 9 with lime. Tests MH3039 and 40 investigated different molar dosing ratios.
Optimisation sighter test results are presented as Table 4.2.
Table 4.2
Test No.

SIGHTER DETOX TEST RESULTS - OPTIMISATION

Molar Ratio

Final Solution Assays (mg/L)

CN(wad):KHSO5

[actual assays, not corrected for dilution]


Cu

Feed
(diluted)

MH3038

Ni

Zn

Fe

CN

CN

CN

(free)

(wad)

(tot)

pH

pH

calc

Start

Final

37.7

0.90

1.90

5.90

96

132

1:

4.0

0.25

0.52

0.40

0.25

<1

0.7

1.4

10.35

7.2

MH3039

1:

2.0

0.25

0.80

0.06

<0.1

2.6

2.7

10.35

7.9

MH3040

1:

3.0

0.18

0.65

0.35

0.20

<1

0.7

1.3

10.35

7.4

The combination of these process conditions resulted in target levels of 3.5 ppm WAD and 7.0 ppm
total cyanide being easily met in all cases.
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4.4

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REPORT NO. M3952-002

BULK SAMPLE CAROS ACID TEST

For the bulk run, the conditions for test MH3040 were adopted as it minimized the amount of free
cyanide present, this species being more toxic to aquatic life than iron cyanides. Results of the bulk
run are presented as Table 4.3.
Table 4.3
Test No.

BULK RUN DETOX TEST RESULTS

Molar Ratio

Final Solution Assays (mg/L)

CN(wad):KHSO5

[actual assays, not corrected for dilution]


Cu

Feed
(diluted)

MH3051

1:

Ni

Zn

Fe

CN(free)

CN(wad)

41.5

1.2

2.0

5.8

151

106

3.0

0.1

0.7

0.2

<0.1

<1

1.8

CN(tot)

pH

pH

calc

Start

Final

1.9

10.3

7.4

Overall WAD cyanide at 1.8 ppm was higher than the equivalent sighter test (MH3040), despite
returning similar soluble metal species. However, the total cyanide value at 1.9 ppm is still well
inside the maximum desirable value of 7 ppm, whilst WAD is well inside the 3.5 ppm limit.
4.4.1

CYANIDE AND CHEMICAL SPECIATION RESULTS

On completion of the cyanide detoxification tests, the bulk run detox slurry was combined in the
correct proportions with flotation tailing slurry and mixed thoroughly, then allowed to settle. Subsamples of solution were taken for analysis at Ammtec, and for additional analyses at BC Research
in Canada. In addition to these analyses, flotation tailings solution, cyanide leach solution and
detoxified leach solution analyses were undertaken. A sub-sample of blended tails solution was left
aside to be aged for 1 month, and was then re-analysed to determine the extent of change in solution
chemistry.
Table 4.4 summarises cyanide speciation results for the four samples.
Table 4.4

CYANIDE SPECIATION RESULTS

Float Tails
Soln

Cyanide
Leach Soln

Cyanide
Detoxified
Soln

[HS9312]

[HS9467]

[MH3051]

CN(free), ppm

<5

120

<5

<5

<5

CN(wad), ppm

<0.01

180

0.25

0.04

0.01

CN(total), ppm

0.01

210

2.5

0.29

0.20

CNO, ppm

<5

360

400

32

9.1

SCN, ppm

0.2

37

0.2

<0.1

0.3

ANALYSIS

Blended
Effluent

Blended
Effluent
(aged 1 month)

NOTE: CN(total) includes cyanide as thiocyanate (SCN)

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Table 4.5 summarises chemical speciation results for the four samples.
Table 4.5

ANALYSIS
Nitrate (NO3-) as N
Ammonia (NH3) as N

CHEMICAL SPECIATION RESULTS

Float Tails
Soln

Cyanide
Leach
Sol.n

Cyanide
Detoxified
Sol.n

[HS9312]
2

[HS9467]
ND

[MH3051]
8

0.8

Blended
Effluent

Blended
Effluent
(aged 1 month)

<1

17

4.4

NA

NA

NA

NA

<1

ND

23

0.9

7.88

10.63

7.86

8.18

7.95

<0.05

0.26

4.05

0.18

0.44

Hardness, mg/l CaCO3

290

12.9

1470

409

363

Conductivity, mS/cm

955 mS/cm

4.44

9.38

1.94

1.89

Alkalinity, mg/l
CaCO3

115

640

435

170

150

Acidity

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NO3 & NO2 as N


Nitrite (NO2 ) as N
pH
Free acid, g/l
Sulphate (SO4), g/l

NOTES:

NA = Not Applicable
ND = Not Determined [due to interference, possibly organic matter or surfactants]
All results in ppm unless otherwise stated

Levels of all species present in the blended effluent are considered to be very low, though their
effect on aquatic life requires assessment by Miramars environmental consultant, AMEC.
It can be seen that the blended effluent WAD cyanide levels at 0.04 ppm is well inside the target
limits of 0.5 ppm required for safe discharge to the tails storage pond. Similarly, the total cyanide
value of 0.29 ppm is comfortably inside the 1 ppm limit. An additional favourable outcome is a
thiocyanate level of less than 0.1 ppm in the blended effluent. Worth noting is that the total cyanide
figure includes thiocyanate as well as WAD, free and iron cyanide values.
After one months aging time, the blended effluent cyanate content drops from 32 ppm to 9.1 ppm,
with a slight increase in ammonia from 1 to 4.4 ppm. However, these results suggest that the
majority of the cyanate converted to nitrogen and carbon dioxide, as the resultant ammonia increase
does not account for the almost fourfold drop in cyanate content in blended effluent. This result
suggests that the life cycle of cyanate generated by the Caro's Acid detox process is relatively shortlived, and that a long term buildup in ammonia content in Tails Lake is unlikely, especially given
the high dilution of the existing water stocks in the lake and the resultant pH drop caused by mixing
of blended effluent with this water supply. Total cyanide is also seen to drop from 0.29 ppm to 0.20
ppm, signifying a further degradation in soluble cyanide species to volatile or precipitated chemical
species.
Table 4.6 summarises ICP cation and sulphate analyses of the four solution samples. AMEC will
comment on the effect of levels of these species on the aquatic environment.

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Table 4.6

ANALYSIS

Al
As
B
Ba
Ca
Cd
Co
Cr
Cu
Fe
Hg
K
Mg
Mn
Mo
Na
Ni
Pb
SO4
V
Zn

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

ICP SOLUTION RESULTS

Float Tails Soln


[HS9312]

Cyanide Leach Soln


[HS9467]

Cyanide Detoxified
Soln [MH3051]

Blended Effluent

Blended Effluent
(Aged 1 month)

Dissolved

Total

Dissolved

Total

Dissolved

Total

Dissolved

Total

Dissolved

Total

0.010
0.007
0.06
0.009
62.9
<0.005
<0.005
<0.002
0.007
<0.005
<0.0005
10.9
14.5
0.059
0.03
99.8
<0.01
<0.05
73.4
<0.005
<0.005

0.057
0.006
0.05
<0.02
60.4
<0.005
<0.005
0.002
0.008
0.034
<0.0005
11.2
14.0
0.058
0.03
99.8
0.01
<0.05
70.2
<0.005
0.025

0.36
1.00
0.08
0.007
7.6
<0.005
0.64
0.029
46
6.3
<0.0005
116
1.5
0.009
0.18
888
0.38
<0.05
505
0.050
1.8

0.33
1.00
0.06
<0.02
8.2
<0.005
0.64
0.034
42
5.9
<0.0005
105
1.5
0.016
0.16
863
0.33
<0.05
482
0.042
1.7

<0.005
0.010
0.06
0.38
442
<0.005
0.49
0.23
0.18
0.12
<0.0005
2010
82.4
0.021
0.08
769
0.77
<0.05
4220
0.024
0.30

0.11
0.010
0.10
0.37
411
<0.005
0.30
0.24
0.14
0.17
<0.0005
1890
77.1
0.023
0.08
750
0.62
<0.05
3860
0.023
0.37

0.006
0.008
0.03
0.04
104
<0.005
0.048
0.023
0.022
0.025
<0.0005
175
23.9
0.13
0.04
158
0.03
<0.05
439
<0.005
0.006

0.10
0.008
0.05
0.04
106
<0.005
0.040
0.026
0.039
0.120
<0.0005
182
22.8
0.12
0.04
160
0.03
<0.05
428
0.005
0.090

0.023
0.002
0.09
0.034
71.4
<0.005
0.044
0.005
0.009
0.033
<0.0005
174
28.9
0.096
0.05
167
<0.01
<0.02
440
<0.005
<0.005

0.073
0.002
0.34
0.04
68.5
<0.005
0.032
0.020
0.024
0.220
<0.0005
168
28.2
0.10
0.04
162
0.01
<0.05
433
<0.005
0.092

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REPORT NO. M3952-002

CONCLUDING COMMENTS ON TESTWORK

The preceding narrative serves to provide a summary of Caros Acid detoxification testwork
undertaken at Ammtec on Doris North leach slurry.
The testwork results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve WAD and total cyanide discharge
levels well within the project environmental guidelines supplied to Bateman. Caros Acid dosage
required is quite modest, with a ratio of 3:1 being selected for design purposes (Caros Acid salt to
WAD cyanide content).
The addition of copper sulphate for iron precipitation appears not to be as effective as allowing the
solution pH to drop without adding lime as a buffer. Copper sulphate will be available in the plant
as a sulphide activator in the flotation circuit, and if required after startup it will be a simple matter
to retrofit an addition line to the detox circuit should iron cyanide levels become problematic.
For design purposes, Bateman have allowed for a higher mass pull to concentrate of 10%, which
will change the dilution factor to 6.26. Based on the optimisation sighter tests and bulk run test
results, the desired discharge limits of 0.5 WAD and 1.0 ppm total cyanide will still be met
comfortably using quite a flexible range of molar ratios from 2 to 4:1 Caros Acid to cyanide.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the use of Caros Acid has been demonstrated at the laboratory
level to be an acceptable and robust method for cyanide destruction at Doris North.

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CYANIDE DETOXIFICATION CIRCUIT PROCESS DESIGN

This section of the report provides a preliminary process design package for the cyanide
detoxification section of the Doris North process plant. The full design exercise is planned for
commencement in November 2003, but the essential criteria and control philosophy should be
largely unchanged from what has been presented in this report since all detox testwork has been
completed to the satisfaction of both Bateman and Miramar.
5.1

PROCESS DESIGN CRITERIA

Table 5.1 presents principal process design criteria for the cyanide detoxification circuit at Doris
North.
Table 5.1

PROCESS DESIGN CRITERIA CYANIDE DETOX AND TAILINGS

Parameter

Unit

Nominal Plant Duty - 690


dry tonnes/day new feed

Peak Plant Duty - 800


dry tonnes/day new feed

%
m3/h
tph
m3/h

Caro's Acid
concentrate leach residue
pulp
24
9.9
3.12
10.9

Caro's Acid
concentrate leach residue
pulp
24
11.4
3.62
12.6

10 to 10.5
7.5 to 8.0

10 to 10.5
7.5 to 8.0

ppm
ppm

150
200

150
200

ppm
ppm

3.0
2.0

3.0
2.0

kg/h
kg/h

1.4
2.0

1.7
2.3

3.0
13.14
25.6
30
2
3.2
6.3

3.0
13.14
29.7
30
2
3.2
6.3

CYANIDE DETOXIFICATION
Detoxification Method
Feed Source
Operating Pulp Density
Feed Solution Flow Rate
Solids in Feed
Volumetric Flow Rate - maximum
Operating pH
Detox Feed
Detox Discharge
Free and WAD Cyanide in Detox Feed
Average
Design
Free and WAD Cyanide in Detox Discharge
Average
Design
Cyanide Destroyed
Average
Design
Caro's Acid Requirement
Molar Ratio (Caro's Acid:Cyanide)
Stoichiometric Dose Rate
Design
Reaction Time
Number of Reactor Stages
Minimum Live Reactor Volume
Live Volume Required for Contact

Revision A 26 September 2003

kg/kg CNkg/h
mins
m3
m3

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Parameter
Hydrogen Peroxide (makeup for Caros
Acid)
Concentration
Average @ concentration noted
Sulphuric Acid (makeup for Caros Acid)
Concentration
Average @ concentration noted
Stoichiometric Factor

TAILINGS DISPOSAL
Feed Source
Solids Rate
Slurry Pulp Density
Solution Flow Rate
Volumetric Flow Rate
Final Tailings : Detox Discharge Ratio
Solids
Solution
Sump Residence Time - minimum
Sump Minimum Live Volume
Tailings Disposal Method
Operating pH in Final Discharge
Target Cyanide in Discharge to Tails Dam
WAD
Total

5.2

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

Unit

Nominal Plant Duty - 690


dry tonnes/day new feed

Peak Plant Duty - 800


dry tonnes/day new feed

%w/w
kg/h

50.0
15.3

50.0
17.7

%w/w
kg/h

93.0
28.4
1.20

93.0
33.0
1.20

Flotation tails + detox d/c


31.2
33.6
61.8
73.3

Flotation tails + detox d/c


36.2
33.6
71.6
85.0

mins
m3

10.0
6.3
1.7
2.1
pump to storage dam
8.0 to 8.5

10.0
6.3
1.5
2.1
pump to storage dam
8.0 to 8.5

ppm
ppm

0.5
1.0

0.5
1.0

t/h
%w/w
m3/h
m3/h

PROJECTED REAGENT CONSUMPTIONS

The annual consumption of reagents used in the cyanide detoxification circuit for nominal (690 tpd
new plant feed) and peak (800 tpd new plant feed) process plant duties are provided as Table 5.2.
Projected makeup reagents for Caros Acid production are based on a molar ratio of 3:1 Caros
Acid to cyanide content in detox feed.
Although a 2:1 molar ratio has been demonstrated in the Ammtec testwork to be adequate to
achieve desired discharge levels, the use of 50% strength hydrogen peroxide will result in a degree
of inefficiency in terms of conversion to Caros Acid, around 70%, versus much higher conversion
for 70% strength peroxide. However, special permitting and storage requirements are need for the
higher strength peroxide, so 50% strength has been adopted for design purposes. Conversion to
70% strength should be further investigated as the savings in operating costs could be significant.
There is also scope to optimise the residual leach residue cyanide level and molar dosing ratio in the
plant once operations commence, further reducing operating costs.
Table 5.2

PROJECTED DETOX AREA ANNUAL REAGENT CONSUMPTION

Parameter
Hydrogen Peroxide, 50% w/w strength
Sulphuric Acid, 93% w/w strength

Revision A 26 September 2003

Unit
kg/t
tpa
kg/t
tpa

Nominal Plant Duty - 640


dry tonnes/day new feed
0.49
123
0.91
229

Peak Plant Duty - 800


dry tonnes/day new feed
0.49
143
0.91
266
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REPORT NO. M3952-002

Hydrogen peroxide and sulphuric acid will be delivered to Doris North site on an annual basis by
cargo ship then offloaded to a barge for transport to the sites landing jetty. The actual containers
will either be 1 m3 bulk boxes in protective cages or isotainers of capacity up to 15 tonnes, the limit
of the off-loading crane.
5.3

PROPOSED DORIS NORTH PROCESS DESCRIPTION

A detailed block flowsheet of the proposed Doris North flowsheet operating at peak feed rate of 800
tonnes per day new feed is included as Appendix A.
Bateman have designed a modularised treatment plant to treat the high grade Doris North resource.
It has the advantage of being easily broken down into sections that are comparatively easy to
relocate to another deposit for rapidly reassembly. The process description of the plant is provided
here.
Run-of-mine ore is crushed in a single stage crushing plant to -200 mm size and fed directly to a
SAG mill. SAG mill discharge slurry launders into a cyclone sump and is pumped to a pack of
hydrocyclones which allow control over grind size. Cyclone underflow gravitates to the SAG mill
feed, with a split being diverted via a distribution box to flash flotation, described further in this
section. Two stage gravity concentration is included within the milling circuit circulating load to
remove gravity recoverable gold. This is dispatched continuously to the goldroom where it is
further upgraded on a shaking table and smelted in a diesel fired furnace to produce gold dor.
Gravity table tails is returned via a dedicated pump to the SAG mill discharge pump sump.
A flash flotation cell is also included within the SAG mill circuit circulating load to recover
coarse liberated sulphides and dispatch these continuously to the concentrate thickener. SAG mill
product ex-cyclones is 80% -106 um. Cyclone overflow is subjected to scavenger flotation in a
series of tank flotation cells to recover remaining free and sulphide associated gold. Reagents used
in flotation are potassium amyl xanthate for sulphide collection, methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC) as
a frother and copper sulphate for pyrite activation.
Flash and scavenger flotation are combined in a small thickener to dewater the feed ahead of
regrinding to liberate entrained gold. The regrind mill is of the vertical type, operating in open
circuit, with mill discharge being pumped to the head of a bank of carbon-in-leach tanks. Lime
slurry is added to the regrind mill feed to condition the pulp pH to the region of 10.5 ahead of
cyanide leaching. Sodium cyanide solution is added to the feed launder to the first and second leach
tanks to maintain an initial cyanide concentration of 1000 ppm.
Activated carbon is used to adsorb solubilised gold from solution, and is moved counter-current to
the slurry process flow though the leach tanks using airlifts or recessed impellor pumps. Fully
loaded carbon is recovered from the first leach tank onto a dewatering screen where residual slurry
is washed from the carbon. Screen underflow returns o the leach tanks. The loaded carbon is then
acid washed with dilute hydrochloric acid to remove inorganic compounds that may be fouling the
carbon. Acid washed carbon is then transferred to an elution column where loaded gold is removed
under pressurised conditions at elevated temperatures in a strongly alkaline environment. Pregnant
liquor is passed through an electrowinning cell to recover gold values, with cell tails being
recirculated to the elution column to recover additional loaded gold. After a pre-determined period
of time, the elution is terminated and the remaining solution is pumped back to the leach circuit.
Stripped carbon is pumped up to the feed hopper of a regeneration kiln, which serves to re-activate
carbon by re-opening pores and increasing contact surface area. The kiln operates continuously but
carbon is returned batch wise after quenching to the rear end of the CIL circuit for advancement up
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MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION


DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

through the circuit. Electowon gold loaded onto steel wool cathodes is periodically removed,
calcined in an oven and smelted with fluxes to produce gold dore.
Cyanide leach residue slurry exits the final leach tank and gravitates over a carbon safety screen to
recover fine carbon. Screen underflow discharges into the first of two agitated covered reactors.
Caros Acid is injected into the first contact tank at an initial pH of 10.5, with discharge from the
second contact tank being of the order of 8 to 8.5. Lime may be added for pH control as required.
Cyanide detoxified slurry exits the second reactor and gravitates into the final tailings hopper,
where it is combined with scavenger flotation tailing slurry and is pumped to Tails Lake, the
selected tails storage facility. After dilution with the lakes water, cyanide level is expected to be
well inside worlds best practice limits.
Water supply for the plant will be drawn from the opposite end of Tails Lake, but in winter months
water will be drawn from Doris Lake.
5.4

OPERATING PHILOSOPHY

Process control of the cyanide detoxification circuit is relatively straightforward, requiring little
operator intervention on a routine basis. Cyanide leach residue pulp gravitates into the first of two
cyanide detoxification reactors.
Caros Acid is produced by pumping sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide from separate storage
vessels in set ratio into a Teflon mixing block via stainless steel braided Teflon lines. The control
module is supplied by the vendor, and insures that the required stoichiometric mix is maintained
regardless of the final Caros Acid demand rate. The individual dosing pump outputs are controlled
by speed controllers according to the preset mixing ratio.
Caros Acid dosing rate into the first reaction tank is set by the operator based on cyanide titration
of the feed slurry and Caros Acid Reactor (150-TK-01) discharge slurry. The actual discharge
cyanide level desired is dictated by the dilution ratio of flotation tails solution to detox discharge
solution, which is determined by flow meters and density gauges on individual process streams.
This is purely a supervisory value that allows the operator to determine what level the detox
discharge WAD cyanide level needs to be to maintain a maximum of 0.5 ppm in final tails
discharge.
Cyanide levels are monitored on a routine basis using the following suggested methods:

Free cyanide silver nitrate titration of detox feed and discharge on a two hourly frequency

WAD cyanide picric acid colorimetric comparison of detox feed and discharge on a four
hourly basis (visual comparison against a colour chart for a set solution makeup)

Iron cyanide AAS analysis using iron specific tube on a composited shift basis. Iron cyanides
in the specific pH range of 8 to 11 are usually a factor of 2.8 x iron concentration.

ORP probe thee potentiometric probes can be left in contact with slurry on a continuous basis
to monitor changes in redox potential. A site-specific relationship between potential and
cyanide levels needs to be developed, but generally, negative values indicate a surplus of
cyanide species present. This can be input directly to the DCS for continuous logging, with
excessive values triggering operator intervention and/or feed stoppage.

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MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION


DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

Prevention of excessive cyanide discharge if the feed to the detox circuit is stopped either by ORP
alarm or operator intervention due to excessive WAD cyanide levels (typically in excess of 4 ppm),
new feed to the SAG mill is stopped, followed by dumping of pump sumps. The tails line is
automatically flushed with process water to avoid bogging and to dilute cyanide values to safe
limits until the process upset is resolved.
Final tailings sump level is controlled by a loop between level controller and the variable speed
drive of the final tailings pumps.

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MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION


DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

Appendix A

BLOCK PROCESS FLOWSHEET

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MIRAMAR MINING CORPORATION


DORIS NORTH GOLD PROJECT

BATEMAN MINERALS (PTY) LIMITED


REPORT NO. M3952-002

Appendix B

DRAFT AMMTEC REPORT NO.


(CYANIDE DETOXIFICATION SECTION)

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MODULAR PLANT BLOCK MASS BALANCE

Miramar Mining Corporation


Doris North Process Optimisation (post-feasibility study)
M3952
September 19, 2003
B

CLIENT:
PROJECT:
JOB NUMBER:
DATE:
REVISION:

New Mill Feed


36.2
95.0

LEGEND
solids, mtph
% w/w

1.91
15.33

Total Mill Feed


106.5
34.58
75.5
74.03
Dilution
11.1

Sprays
5.0

Flash Float Tails


34.8
18.87
64.8
31.77
CUF Diversion
35.5
13.81
72.0
26.96

SAG MILL

SAG Mill d/c


106.5
70.0

sol.n, mtph
vol, m3/h

Flash Float Cons


0.72
2.17
25.0
2.42

FLASH FLOTATION
45.65
85.10

D/C TROMMEL

Trommel u/s
106.5
67.8

Spray Water
3.55

50.65
90.10

Total Gravity Tails (avg)


0.72
3.54
16.9
3.78

SAG MILL
D/C SUMP

Dilution
5.2

Gravity Feed
107.2
64.4

59.38
99.10
Ro. Grav. Cons
0.72
5.31
12.0
5.55

ROUGHER
GRAVITY
CONCENTRATOR

Hutch Water
26.8

Flash Float Feed


35.5
17.49
67.0
30.64

Dilution
3.7
Cyclone Feed
106.5
56.8

80.88
120.33

CYCLONES

Cyclone o/f
35.5
40.0

Cyclone u/f
71.0
72.0

Cl. Grav. Cons


0.14
2.75
5.0
2.80

Cl. Grav. Tails


0.58
17.5

GRAVITY TABLE
CONCENTRATION
(batch)

53.26
66.41

Au to
smelting
(batch)
Table Tails (24 hr basis)
0.14
0.80
15.0
0.85

Scav. Float Feed


35.5
65.94
35.0
79.09

Launder Water
2.9

SCAVENGER
FLOTATION
CELLS
Scav. Float Tails
32 61
60 14

2.74
2.93

27.62
53.92

SCAVENGER
FLOTATION
CONDITIONER

Dilution
12.7

Hutch Water
0.2

CLEANER GRAVITY
CONCENTRATION

Scav. Float Cons


2.90
8.70
25.0
9.66

Combined Cons
3 62
10 87