The main objectives of metallurgical testing is to obtain the best method for treating a specific gold ore and study the practicability of performing a given process. Basically, testing for a process needs the application of several processes to the same gold ore, while testing of processes involves subjection of different gold ores to the same recovery process. In this was must be indicated that the laboratory work needs a special attention to detail, close and accurate observation and record of results and permanent examination into causes. Correct interpretation of test results needs wide experience in testing and plant operation, and a rational equilibrium among disappointment, optimism and negativism.
The best laboratory results can be improved in an industrial operation, it may be impracticable in the plant to expend the care lavished on laboratory tests. Sometimes, gold operations are seldom economically subject to as close control of mass treated, and purity and uniformity of reagents employed as in the metallurgy lab. This affirmation is true for hydrometallurgy and flotation processes. Other aspect related to the test work is the time because on the one hand is the requirement for quick results, and on other hand, exists the necessity for through research before announcing the results obtained in the testing program.
It is very important on making mine examinations, to be able to obtain test results on certain samples in order to get new samples in case of any doubt for results obtained. This a point that most metallurgist must face, especially when geologists think there was a mistake in the testing program and they consider that the gold ore is not problematic. When a geologist tries to work as metallurgist, some disagreements will be produced. When the program was prepared to evaluate many samples or the mine is located in a remote place, part of the tests must be performed in the field, but if there is not any economical restriction, all tests must be done in the lab. In the absence of appropriate equipment, simpler and more convenient procedures of making some basic tests could be considered, but results must be confirmed later in a real laboratory. A metallurgy lab rarely has enough equipment, properly balanced as to size, to make a continuous test on a scale that will give good indication of the plant recovery performance, except to an experienced metallurgist.
Metallurgical tests are the most critical step for evaluating the amenability of an ore to any recovery process and hence can become the critical parameter in the financial evaluation if tests were not performed properly. The highlights of the metallurgical test work program are predicting the gold recovery and when is possible, to include a preliminary economical evaluation of the process. The detail of the estimated costs of the testing program must be based on the laboratory reputation and the probably cost per hour. In this way a Gantt chart must be prepared with all the estimated tests.
Sample Preparation | Samples for Testing Program | Knelson Concentration Tests | Falcon Concentration Tests | Cyanidation Batch Tests | Column Leach Tests | Bench Scale Flotation Testing | Settling Tests | Filtration Tests | Selection of Activated Carbon | Heap Leaching Pilot Tests | Flash Flotation Tests | Laboratory Grinding Tests | Amalgamation and Panning of Gold Ores | How to Determine the Presence of Native Gold