MSc (Eng) Project title A Geometallurgical Study of Gold at Kusasalethu Mine, Carletonville: RSA
(Supervisors: M Becker, J Petersen, DL Reid, and J-P Franzidis) Graduated: 2014
Gold mining and beneficiation at Kusasalethu mine is typically complex due to the high degree of mineralogical variability and stratigraphic complexity of the two gold bearing ores (Ventersdorp Contact Reef and Elsburg Reefs) exploited at the mine. This often leads to unpredictable and highly variable gold recoveries which are not consistent with the plants aim to achieve a high metal recovery at the lowest operating cost without compromising the efficiency of the process. This study used a geometallurgical framework to explore the effect of the more energy efficient high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) on the comminution behaviour (especially on the crack network) and leaching performance (access of the leach liquor to the valuable mineral/s) in a laboratory column leach study on run of mine gold ore with the use of state of the art mineralogical analytical tools (Micro-focus X-ray CT at Necsa and automated mineralogy) to characterise the deportment of the gold in Kusasalethu ore.