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Heap or dump leaching

Dump and heap leaching (via irrigation and percolation of acid onto and through the material) is often the selected process option for many marginal low-grade orebodies typically for Cu, Uranium and Ni ores. This process typically presents much lower capital and operating costs, albeit at lower metal recoveries. In some cases, dumps of feed material are already pre- existing as tailings or mine waste material. In place of heaps and dumps, testing is ultimately conducted in columns of various sizes. ALS offers a full range of heap and dump leaching services covering basic scoping tests through to feasibility studies on larger scale continuous columns.

columns heap leaching

Column heap leaching

As part of the Hydrometallurgical Centre of Excellence (HCE), ALS has a dedicated fully equipped column leach facility at the Balcatta campus. Bench scale testwork initially consists of intermittent bottle roll tests and agglomeration/percolation testwork. This leads onto small scale 100 mm dia by. 1 m - 2 m high columns. If required, larger columns of 200 mm dia and 300 mm dia at both 4 or 6 m high can be assembled in a 30-column structure. This facility is complete with heating, continuous monitoring, and mass measurements to enable progressive balancing on each column during the course of the leaching time.

ALS has carried out numerous copper, nickel and uranium heap leaching programs, the findings of which have gone onto successful bankable studies. We have the expertise and developments at the cutting edge of metallurgical technology.

Note: The hydrometallurgical column leaching facility is separate to the gold cyanidation facility.

Don't see what you need or are unsure about some of the services and associated requirements?

We understand that metallurgical testwork is not a one size fits all or a pick off a menu proposition, and so we are happy to help walk you through the process. Or you might know exactly what you want and just need some clarifications.

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Here are some frequently asked questions

Associated testwork services

Column Leach testwork rarely happens in isolation and typically many other processes are required pre and post leaching testwork, as follows: Mineralogy, Sample Characterization, Feed blending and drying (typically air) to constant moisture, agglomeration, selection of binding reagents, reagent additions – reductants or oxidizers for ORP and pH control, Kappes percolation tests (modified constant head test), Column decommissioning and residue profile sampling.

Click on the above links or contact us for further information. We can integrate a full program for you if required.