Site Services

Many mineral processes are not fully optimised and poor process performance impacts operating costs, whether due to lower recoveries, increased consumption of consumables such as reagents or poor water usage. Changes in the operating environment over time are often overlooked and the process needs to continually adapt to the new conditions.

Paterson & Cooke provides on-site audits to actively monitor and improve the performance of key unit processes.

We apply our engineering and on-site expertise in a way that optimises and upgrades the infrastructure already in place. We provide a range of on-site work including pilot scale test work, design reviews, equipment and process audits, performance optimisation, upgrades and retrofits, performance validation, benchmarking, start-up, commissioning and operator training. Our strength comes from years of site experience and access to Paterson & Cooke’s global resources which enable us to tackle unique process challenges.

Notable Projects

Codelco Chuquicamata, Chile

The project included the detailed design, construction support and five months operation of the thickened tailings slurry pipe loop facility on site, for a 232 000 t/d thickened tailings conceptual design project. The pilot plant included a 2.5 m diameter paste thickener to produce thickened underflow at a maximum rate of 70 t/d. The slurry test loop comprised a 110 kW slurry pump and 50 mm and 75 mm pipe test loops that were used to determine the slurry flow behaviour and pump performance. The slurry was stored and pumped to deposition test flumes for further geotechnical tests to determine consolidation and beach slopes.

Minera Esperanza, Chile

On site review of three problematic 60 m diameter high density thickeners treating a combined 95 000 t/d of copper tailings.

Smokey Canyon Mine, USA

Thickener and feed system audit, providing upgrade recommendations for improving performance.

Piedras Verdes, Mexico

Perform equipment and process audits, providing recommendations for tailings and concentrate thickeners, flocculant make-up system, and tailings transportation systems.