Carbon Inventory Management in a Carbon-in-Leach Circuit

Six C2 carbon concentration meters installed in PNG’s Hidden Valley Gold and Silver Mine have improved carbon management in the mine’s CIL circuit and significantly optimised metal recovery.

  • Installation of six carbon concentration meters (C2 meters) in the Hidden Valley mine has improved carbon management in the mine’s CIL circuit.
  • The C2 meters are explicitly designed to measure and provide continuous online monitoring of the carbon concentration in the slurry tanks. 
  • The mine’s C2 meters have mitigated sources of error and provide an accurate and repeatable real-time estimate of total carbon inventory.
Hidden Valley Mine's C2 meters use the principle of ultrasonic attenuation to determine the carbon concentration in CIL tanks in real-time. The accurate measurement of this variable for managing carbon inventory is a critical parameter in the efficient operation of the CIL circuit.

As this paper shows, integrating accurate high-frequency carbon  concentration readings into an automated carbon inventory management system can have significant benefits. These include the following:
  • Maintaining a consistent carbon profile in the CIL circuit and enabling the implementation of an efficient carbon movement strategy
  • Effective management of events such as carbon transfer to the CIL circuit, carbon transfer between tanks and carbon recirculation between the CIL circuit and elution
  • Preventing over- or under-transferring of carbon from one tank to the other
  • Determining if there is carbon leakage or short circuiting between tanks
  • Compensating for variability in equipment performance
  • Maintaining a consistency in the process, independent of operator’s experiences
  • Automatically detecting if carbon transfer pumps are not functioning properly.

By installing the C2 meters the mine has experienced a significant reduction in soluble gold and silver losses to the CIL tails. It’s estimated that, over a 12-month period, the improvement to the bottom line due to reduced gold losses is around AU$5 million.

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