Fosterville Gold Mine Improves Gold Recovery with Advanced Technologies

Published: December 09,2022



The Agnico Eagle Fosterville Gold Mine is a high-grade, low-cost operation located 20 km east of the cityof Bendigo in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Commissioned in 2005, the operation comprises a crushing and grinding circuit followed by flotation,Metso Outotec bacterial oxidation (BIOX®), and carbon in leach (CIL) circuits. In 2008, Fosterville GoldMine pioneered the ‘Heated Leach’ Process (Metso Outotec HiTeCC™), a high temperature preg-robbing mitigation process. In 2009, this highly successful technology was commercialized onsite, and has since been demonstrated to increase overall gold recoveries by up to 12% and reduce WAD cyanides discharged in leach tailings to below environmentally regulated concentrations. The facility has also pioneered novel applications for the capture of colloidal gold from tailings streams and continues to develop industry partnerships to improve agitation technology and online elemental analysis.

As a non-discharge facility, Fosterville Gold Mine has maintained their commitment to strengthening the sustainability of the facility’s water balance through the application of innovative technologies amongst which, the Metso Outotec activated sludge tailings effluent remediation (ASTER™) process for degrading thiocyanates and total cyanides from leach liquors, and a mine water treatment plant removing arsenic, antimony, and sulphates. These processes enable the facility to adopt a ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ approach and retain a high level of flexibility in utilizing process waters within a unique bacterial oxidation circuit.

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