Mineral Processing

Our team of process engineers has a proud history of successfully delivering cost-effective and high-performance mineral processing solutions globally

With declining feed grades, increasingly challenging and problematic ores being processed, and a drive for more sustainable mining practices, the modern process plant needs to adapt. Often this means adopting newer and novel technology or modifying and/or optimising the process flowsheet. From early-stage conceptual studies through to construction, commissioning and training, P&C can provide solutions every step of the way. Our engineering is backed by in-house laboratory testing to assist in providing novel process solutions which are cost effective and operationally robust.

Our range of services include:

  • Site audits
  • Site feed trials
  • Instrumentation and process control
  • Process optimisation and upgrades
  • Metallurgical test programs
  • Operations planning
  • Process modelling
  • Flowsheet development
  • Debottlenecking studies
  • Conceptual, basic and detailed engineering
  • Commissioning support
  • Operator training
  • Qualified persons (QP) for technical reports

Mineral Processing Projects from around the world

Resin-in-Leach to Carbon-in-Leach Conversion Project, Nevada

Ore type changes at this plant necessitated the conversion of an existing resin-in-leach gold recovery process to a carbon-in-leach process. P&C carried out detailed engineering design which included making the necessary modifications to the existing leach circuit equipment, rerouting the tailings disposal and reclaim water circuits, installing new reagent addition and CN destruction circuits, and adding the ancillary equipment required to support the amended flowsheet.

Fluorspar Grinding and Flotation Optimisation, Mexico

The industrial mineral concentrator has historically suffered sub-optimal flotation performance at two parallel processing plants. P&C optimised the grinding and flotation circuits to reduce overgrinding and associated grinding costs, increase overall recovery, and minimise product loss to tailings. The new process flow incorporated a coarsened grind by moving from primary and secondary grinding to a primary grind and concentrate re-grind configuration. P&C reconfigured flotation tailing recycle streams to improve gangue liberation and maintain concentrate grade while increasing recovery. The FEL1 study was supported by P&C’s in-house laboratory capability.

Plant Expansion Project, Argentina

Yamana’s Cerro Moro processing facility was interested in examining upgrades required to support roughly doubling the plant’s capacity while processing lower grade ore. Through data analysis, test work review, and process modelling, P&C successfully completed a conceptual study identifying low-cost options for plant expansion. Yamana re-engaged P&C to conduct a PFS level study and necessary preliminary work including design and management of the metallurgical test campaign, audit of existing plant circuits, and trade off studies evaluating expansion approach and optimal throughput target required to support PFS engineering.

Corporate Technical Support, Brazil

Yamana Gold’s Jacobina processing facility was undertaking detailed engineering with another engineering firm to allow an increased plant capacity and engaged P&C to conduct a review of the proposed design of the comminution circuit. In P&C’s review of design parameters and operational data, it was determined that many of the expansion targets could be satisfied with existing equipment. Yamana have since engaged P&C to conduct an audit to confirm the review findings and to manage the expansion by heading a steering committee responsible for overseeing the project to ensure achievement of the site’s new low-capital expansion goals. Through auditing and debottlenecking efforts, P&C have helped the site team to increase from roughly 7,500 tpd to 9,000 tpd.

Copper Smelter Off-Gas Dust, Dry Handling to Wet Handling Conversion, Southern Africa

The off-gas dry handling system at this smelter was a bottleneck that resulted in substantial downtime due to maintenance and shutting the furnace before the dust could be removed manually from the collection drop box. P&C was tasked to convert the dry handling process to a continuous wet handling system by developing a circuit to deal with the dust as well as to do proof-of-concept tests to produce a pelletised product. The process test work included open channel flow, vibrating screens, thickening, pelletising, bulk flow properties, and drying circuit tests and provided the basis for the wet handling 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.