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:: Online cyanide measurement
Mintek, South Africa's national minerals technology organisation, has installed a Cynoprobe online cyanide-measurement system at a gold mine in Peru.
The system was handed over to the mine in March following a successful three-month trial period.
The Cynoprobe, which was launched commercially at the end of 2002, uses a relatively simple electrochemical technique to provide a fast, accurate and reliable measurement of cyanide concentration in gold-leaching circuits. This information, when used in conjunction with a cyanide management strategy, can lead to a significant decrease in reagent consumption.
The Cynoprobe can be used on adsorbent-in-pulp and adsorbent-in-leach circuits that employ either carbon or resin, as well as in elution circuits. The system is fully automated through the use of an integrated microprocessor, which among other advantages enables it to be automatically calibrated against a standard solution. Owing to the simplicity of the measurement method, only a very low level of maintenance is required.
Cynoprobes have also been supplied to gold mines in Mexico and Tasmania. A further two units will be commissioned shortly in Zimbabwe.
At a gold plant in South Africa, three Cynoprobes are providing data for the development work on LeachStar, Mintek's gold leaching control strategy. LeachStar, which is being developed on the PlantStar advanced process-control platform, will control the cyanide profile throughout the leaching circuit. By preventing overdosing, it is estimated that the cyanide costs on a typical gold plant could be reduced by about 20 per cent. A fully functioning LeachStar is expected to be running on a trial basis on a production plant by the fourth quarter of 2003.
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