AmmLeach CuCo demonstration pilot plant in collaboration with MC Process

first_imgThe AmmLeach® copper/cobalt plant is to be used for testing bulk representative samples from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and elsewhere. It will be the first AmmLeach plant in the world to showcase process in two circuits through to copper and cobalt cathode metal, compared with the majority of DRC cobalt, which is currently produced as an intermediate product. The ability for third parties to see the Ammleach process working will be invaluable for commercialisation. MC Process is a highly regarded partner of choice for AmmLeach plant design and engineering in Africa. Alexander Mining has, in partnership with MC Process, completed construction of the copper/cobalt demonstration pilot plant in Johannesburg, and has commenced commissioning the plant using bulk ore samples from the DRC. As part of Alexander’s initiatives in the DRC, it has collected a significant range of copper and cobalt mineralisation samples from the DRC for initial laboratory amenability testing. The testwork results have been highly encouraging and jointly the companies have now established a pilot plant at MC Process’s premises. Initially, the plant will be used for testing larger bulk representative samples which have been delivered from the DRC, but will be capable of treating other base metal deposit types.The AmmLeach cobalt/copper process has particular relevance to the DRC which accounts for around 53% of world mine production in 2011 and 45% of world reserves. Moreover, the majority of cobalt currently produced in the DRC is as an intermediate product. The AmmLeach cobalt/copper process is simpler and requires fewer unit processes to produce cobalt and copper metal cathode, resulting in significantly reduced capital and operating costs compared to the conventional acid/SO2 process.Given the inherent high costs associated with operating within the DRC, using conventional technology, AmmLeach has the potential to enable the processing of a significantly greater number of deposits that have to date been considered marginal or uneconomic to develop.The AmmLeach process may economically treat high carbonate and acid consuming orebodies that are prevalent in the DRC and which may not be economically treated using acid leaching. It is also ideally suited to heap leaching of ‘lower’ grade orebodies.The results from the pilot plant will be invaluable for design and scale up to a full size commercial plant.MC Process is Alexander’s partner of choice for AmmLeach plant design and engineering in Africa and it is dedicated to the design and manufacture of minerals processing equipment, especially SX-EW plants. Moreover, it has considerable experience with designing and establishing SX-EW plants in the DRC and other countries in Africa.Martin Rosser, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This pilot plant will be the first in Africa to showcase Alexander’s innovative AmmLeach technology producing both copper and cobalt metal from two circuits in the one plant. It will be integral to our business development plans for the DRC Copperbelt and also for testing material from copper and cobalt projects in other parts of Africa and the world. The ability for third parties to see the AmmLeach® process working will be invaluable for its commercialisation. Moreover, we are delighted with the highly beneficial relationship already developed with MC Process and we look forward to our continued successful close collaboration.”last_img read more

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