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MIPAC delivering first Albion Process™ plant

Supplier: MIPAC By: Julie-Anne O'Hagan
21 March, 2012

MIPAC is working with Xstrata Technology to launch the GPM Gold Project Albion Process™ plant in Armenia.

This will be the first time MIPAC and Xstrata Technology will work together on this ground-breaking technology, which involves a hot oxidative leach of finely ground concentrates at atmospheric pressure and without employing autoclaves or relying on bacterial cultures.

It is being introduced at GeoProMining Gold LLC’s Ararat Processing Plant which services the company’s open-cut gold mine in Armenia.

“MIPAC worked with Xstrata Technology on a bankable feasibility study in 2010 to determine how Xstrata Technology’s Albion Process™ could improve the plant’s gold recovery,” MIPAC director Tony Mathison says.

“The study’s promising results led to the project starting in January this year and MIPAC will spend the next four months [end June] providing electrical, instrument and process control engineering and design for the new plant. MIPAC will also supply instruments, control systems and electrical equipment for the project.”

The Albion Process™  Plant will be commissioned in March 2013.

“This will be the fourth installation of the Albion Process™,” Xstrata Technology’s hydrometallurgy manager Mike Hourn says.

“It offers an alternative to traditional options and incorporates ultra-fine grinding to increase the activity of sulphide concentrates to a point where they can be oxidised readily in conventional open tanks.

“It avoids high-pressure, high-temperature processes and has a reduced environmental impact because it doesn’t need expensive reagents or bacteria. It is also more cost-effective than bacterial or pressure leaching.

“We expect the Ararat plant to be a showpiece for this ground-breaking process — producing better results at a lower cost than conventional methods.”

For more information: www.albionprocess.com