The equipment to be used in a gold mining operation is an important decision and the mine needs special equipment too. The equipment and devices to employ in a mineral processing plant are selected considering the gold recovery process and its efficiency in other mining operations. Most the time the equipment is employed for the following unitary operations: crushing, grinding, classification, concentration gravimetric, flotation, thickening and filtering. The type of units to be considered in the treatment of any type of gold ore is influenced by three aspects: characteristics and value of the ore, products to be obtained and type of plant.
For many years, gold mining operations have been focused in recovering the valuable minerals as soon as can be possible. In other words, once particles are liberated, they must be recovered. There are values that can be lost by using a fine grinding and this origin a high cost due to an unnecessary over grinding. This problem must be considered at the moment of selecting grinding equipment and a flotation machine.
The flowsheet chosen for each ore must be based on the type of separation method more effective to achieve a good recovery. In order to do this will be necessary to consider the characteristics of the final product, economical aspects influenced by the metallic content, size of the mill, and location. The main objective of the gold mining industry is to satisfy its requirement, and this trend is growing each time more and more in such grade that treating of rich ores is not enough. So the treating of gold ore deposits of low grade is more common. Perhaps, most of metals are extracted from low grade ores by using complex systems of concentration. Considering this aspect, researches and manufacturers have been trying to improve the performance of the equipments and the processes to be used. Improvement of mineral processing techniques can markedly conserve primary sources of materials. As ore reserves become more difficult to treat, losses of tailings increase. The emphasis must be to improve the efficiency of existing processes, optimize their performance, and seek new techniques that not only reduce losses, but more economical, and considering environmental aspects.
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