APT’s COO Emphasizes The Importance of Sound Ore Testwork in Developing a Good Flowsheet

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“The ore dictates the terms, so ore testwork is a must”. That’s a popular catchphrase at APT because each and every ore is different and unique. Ores of the same element can be remarkably similar in behaviour, but it is extremely rare for 2 ores to behave exactly the same. Liberation character will be different, requiring marginally different crush or grind sizes for optimal liberation; the nature, size and shape of liberated mineral or metal will be different, requiring different set-up of recovery equipment; and competing species or minerals will vary in their nature and their effect on recovery of the desired mineral/metal.

It is for this reason that we at APT strongly advocate thorough extractive ore testwork before selecting a process or plant module. We would rather not supply a plant than supply a plant that is inappropriate or inadequate, a disappointment and a waste of money. There is no sense in rushing a mine into production with inadequate ore testwork. There is ABSOLUTELY no sense in rushing a mine into production without any testwork at all. Unfortunately some of our customers are so keen to begin production that – against our advice – they order plants without complete or appropriate testwork; in extreme cases without even establishing that the ore carries viable grades. More often than not these rushed plants end up being shut down or drastically modified. More haste, less speed.

Just as a GPS will navigate one to a destination by the most convenient and quick route, so appropriate and correct testwork will guide a mine-owner to the best solution for maximising recovery at minimised cost. APT’s partner company, Peacocke & Simpson, has over 25 years of experience in developing process flowsheets for ores from literally every corner of the world. Like APT, P&S believes in innovation and (wherever possible) eco-friendly processing, in thinking outside the box to provide a solution that best suits the ore, which – as we already know – dictates the terms.

“Like squeezing blood from a stone” is a well known expression that literally means trying the impossible with an un-budging subject. Let’s face it, ore is rock and rock is un-budging, so rather than trying to make rock suit a process, make the process suit the rock. Let APT and P&S test your ore, find out its quirks and qualities, and design your process for optimum return.

– COO

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