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From stone to metal
Since the start of the development of the Gross deposit, 13 tons of gold have been produced
In the Olekminsky district of Yakutia, at the new Gross gold mine, the ore is crushed in a large "coffee mill", more precisely in a giant gyration grinder. The two leading objects of the mine - large and medium-sized crushing units of gold ore - operate at full capacity. The ore preparation process can no longer be stopped.
The technological process of preparing ore to extract precious metal from it is complex, but fascinating. At Gross, ore preparation is carried out in two stages - first large (first stage), and then medium crushing (second stage). Especially for this, two separate buildings were built. The large ore crushing facility has become one of the highest objects in the mine - 27 meters. Ore is supplied here from the quarry by 130-ton dump trucks. And here, at the first stage, the ore is crushed to smaller sizes - up to 160 mm, while the maximum size of the piece that gets into the load is 800 millimeters.
After large crushing, ore is conveyed through the conveyor line to the medium crushing body, where it is crushed in two cone crushers to a fraction of 0-40 mm.
Gross is the flagship of the international gold mining company Nordgold in Russia. Gross produces more than 14 million tons of ore and produces more than 250 thousand ounces of gold per year
Just think about it - the crusher per hour is capable of processing up to two thousand tons of ore! It works on the principle of a coffee grinder. Only a thousand times more powerful. The crusher’s kit also contains the strongest hydraulic hammer, which breaks oversized pieces of ore that do not pass into the loading hole of the gyration crusher. It is worth noting that all the equipment is of high quality, the supplier is the Finnish engineering concern Metso and the American TNT. In total, 54 conveyor units, three crushers, four vibration tables and two vibration screens are involved in the ore preparation section.
According to the chief metallurgist of Gross, Kirill Demidenko, such high-quality equipment in Russia is not used at all enterprises.
The operation of crushing plants and all related equipment in two complexes (large and medium crushing) is served by only nine people, and one person manages the entire system. These are dispatchers, crushers and conveyor operators. To help them - a modern automated control system that, with the help of sensors, monitors the loading of bunkers, the weight of the loaded ore, the speed of the conveyors, hourly production and other parameters of the equipment. All this is demonstrated on computer monitors.
Automation of the crushing and sorting system allows not only effective control of all processes, but also ensures maximum safety for employees.
“From the control room, remotely, we monitor the work of all redistributions: crushers, all conveyors. You can track the correct and incorrect moments of work, prevent emergencies, turn on or stop any equipment at the ore preparation section, ”explained Kirill Demidenko.
ALONG THE CONVEYOR
Ore at the Gross mine moves along conveyor lines. The total length of the conveyors is seven km. The conveyor line allows you to not stop the ore treatment complex for a minute. After all, crushed ore independently, without the help of vehicles, moves along it to the heap leaching site. It is this technology, sufficiently well-known among gold producers, for the extraction of gold, heap leaching, that is used at Gross.
Currently, according to Russian standards, the balance reserves of gold at the Gross deposit are 130 tons, the off-balance reserves are 127 tons, and the proven resources are 140 tons.
From stationary conveyors, the crushed ore moves further along mobile conveyors, each 39 meters long, goes to a radial stacker, which can dump ore into a stack 18 meters high and 120 meters wide, moving in any direction.
AS IN AUSTRALIA AND CANADA
Gross uses dynamic heap leaching maps - a unique technology for Russia, which is now actively used in Australia and Canada. Dynamic maps are when ore, after leaching, is taken to a dump, and a new one is placed in its place. In this regard, of course, special attention is paid to the construction of the foundation for the ore stack, because heavy equipment will pass through it, and the stack itself will give a significant load. There can be no miscalculations.
There are ten cards in the mine, with a total area of 600 thousand square meters. meters. Each, meter by meter, was covered with a reliable high-tech geomembrane. A special film in the future will prevent the leakage of precious (gold-containing) solution and protect the soil. The total amount of ore that fits on one card is about 2,6 million cubic meters.
Gross is located in the south-west of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Olekminsky District, a few km from the existing Taborny mine, which has been operating for 20 years
HOUSE UNDER GOLD
Gold-containing solutions obtained after the ore irrigation procedure are collected in a special pond, and from there they go to a gold recovery factory. This is another important mine site. The factory includes a hydrometallurgy workshop and a smelting department, a modern instrument-analytical laboratory and a reagent department.
“The factory is a high-priority facility, this is where the process for the production of Dore ingots takes place,” says Kirill Demidenko. - The construction of the factory was carried out in accordance with all existing rules for such industrial facilities in accordance with the regulatory requirements of the Russian Federation and Nordgold. The gold mining factory, however, like the entire Gross infrastructure, meets the necessary technical requirements and climatic conditions of the North. “Buildings and structures are designed for seismicity up to eight points, and the temperature conditions for their operation are up to 50 degrees below zero.”
Gross did not spare forces and funds for the construction of the entire metallurgical complex. Just imagine: the industrial site where the whole complex is located impresses with its size, the total area is more than 155 thousand square meters. meters, and the area of the gold extraction plant itself is 12 thousand square meters. meters. The factory building is 42 meters wide and 17 to 24 meters high, and its length is 90 linear meters. About three thousand tons of metal structures were used in the construction of the giant.