Trevali Mining Corporation (TSX: TV; OTC: TREVF) sent run-of-mine and milled material from its Caribou mine near Bathurst, N.B., to FLSmidth for pilot plant testing using rapid oxidative leach (ROL) technology.
Previous laboratory-scale testing demonstrated the potential of the ROL process to recover zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver as a precipitate or metal and additional zinc and lead from Caribou ore and tailings.
Implementation of an ROL would boost recoveries, allow the reprocessing of historic tails, and extend the mine life. Making precipitate or metal on site rather than concentrate will lead to savings on transport and offsite treatment costs. All of which would reduce Trevali’s carbon footprint at Caribou.
Trevali says that results of successful pilot plant tests could be used to support a preliminary economic assessment and Ni 43-101 report to implement the technology on a commercial scale. ROL has the potential to replace the existing flotation circuit at the mine with atmospheric leach vessels and perhaps an SX/EW train.
FLSmidth's patent-pending ROL process uses a stirred media reactor to achieve improved metal recoveries under atmospheric conditions within a reasonable amount of time. This mechano-chemical approach overcomes many of the surface passivation problems that have hindered other atmospheric leach processes. The process takes advantage of the enhanced reactivity of transitory, surface-defect structures generated during particle fracture. The process occurs at 80-90 °C and under atmospheric pressure. The use of very low energy, inter-stage attrition-grinding is used to enhance the selective dissolution of valuable minerals.
Learn more about the Caribou mine at www.Trevali.com.