Laboratory Services

Our global network of testing laboratories allows us to conduct vital testing and extensive analysis of the materials we process

We have testing laboratories in Australia (Perth), Canada (Sudbury), Chile (Santiago), South Africa (Cape Town), the United Kingdom (Cornwall,) and the USA (Denver).

Our testing capabilities vary from region to region and can include the following:

  • Ore dressing studies
  • Bulk solids handling
  • Crushing, screening, washing and classification
  • Metal extraction
  • Tailings treatment
  • Mine backfilling
  • Concentrate and tailings pipelines
  • Tailings management
  • Research and development
Large Diameter Pipe Loop Test Facilities

P &C completed large diameter pipe loop tests to evaluate the minimum flow requirements for the transport of fine tailings from a mine in West Africa. The aim of the test work was to determine what the implications would be on the existing pipeline installation by operating with a stationary bed. The test work showed that the material could be transported with a settled bed, but that there was an increased operational risk when re-starting the pipeline that could result in a blockage under certain conditions.

Cyclone Test Work

P &C carried out pilot cyclone simulation test work covering a range of pressures and cyclone geometries, to generate a particular underflow particle size distribution optimal for paste backfill. The work included a full paste backfill binder strength study. This work provided many of the necessary parameters to facilitate efficient commissioning of the paste backfill plant.

P&C completed a classification cyclone test program testing a 650 mm diameter cyclone at volumetric flow rates of up to 720 m³/h at a throughput of ~800 t/h testing various type of feed materials.

Dewatering Index Testing for Geo-metallurgical Modelling

P &C completed sample characterisation and dewatering index testing for 119 spatially distributed drill core samples from a greenfield project covering a 25-year copper and nickel mine plant. General sample characterisation measurements (slurry pH, conductivity, PSD, and solids density) provided context to any outliers found in the dewatering testing. Dewatering tests included indicative settling tests and zero free water tests with specific cake resistance estimates to indicate filterability of the samples. The work revealed trends between general sample characterisation and dewatering, and the results were incorporated into the project’s overall geo-metallurgical model.

Backfill Test Work

P &C conducted extensive particle size modification and binder screening test work on gold mine tailings to achieve high strength paste backfill for underhand mining. The particle size and mineralogy of the tailings required cyclones to remove ultra-fines, as well as aggregate addition to improve the water to cement ratio. The strength testing carried out included unconfined compressive strength (UCS) as well as Triaxial testing to derive internal design parameters for numerical modelling.

On-site Gold Tailings Cyclone Deposition Trials

P &C designed and fabricated a large capacity cyclone test installation at a client site to trial the cyclone and subsequent tailings deposition performance. Operating daily over a one-month period, the trial enabled us to optimise the cyclone performance as well as develop a deposition beach which enabled subsequent geotechnical investigation. The duration of the trial allowed us to quantify the tailings feed stream variability to develop a comprehensive performance operating window for the system.


Life at Paterson & Cooke

Since 1991, we have built a business based on people. Our strength lies in the intellect, commitment and creativity of the people who work for P&C. Our culture is based on respect for one another and for our clients. This is captured in our values, which include integrity, passion, excellence, responsibility, and accountability.

Life at P&C remains true to our founding purpose: To create technically fulfilling and financially rewarding careers for everyone who works for P&C.