Success Story 3

Gold Operation

United States

Max-Emitter conversion results in 10% gold extraction increase.

A major gold operation in the U.S. was operating with a competitor's agricultural drip emitters with limited success. Actually, the emitters were plugging so frequently that when Ore-Max visited, they did not even want to discuss the Max-Emitter because they were considering going back to a sprinkler system for leaching. After any plant upset or unplanned shutdown of the pumping system - like from a lightning strike for example - the agricultural drip emitters would plug 100%. This would drive management and the leach crew crazy, because management would want the material replaced immediately, but the leach crew knew that would take time and to get everything running again, they would need to go up to the leach area and punch holes in the drip emitter tubing to keep solution flowing.

This was not a good situation, management knew they were wasting money replacing the drip emitter lines several times during a normal leach cycle. It is easy to see why management was considering going back to a sprinkler system. After considerable discussion, reviewing samples of the Max-Emitter versus other emitters, and everyone finally understanding why the Max-Emitter is different from a drip emitter used in agriculture, management decided to test the Max-Emitter before going back to sprinklers. During the Max-Emitter test, the worst possible situation occurred, the barren pond level was drawn down too low and dirt and debris from the bottom of the pond was sent up to the heap and into the drip emitters. As had occurred in the past, the agricultural drip emitters plugged 100% and some of the leach cells had only been installed and operating for seven days. When the leach crew went to the Max-Emitter test area they expected the same situation, however, all the emitters were still flowing. None of the Max-Emitters had plugged, the leach crew and management were amazed. The next day, the mine began a 100% conversion to the Max-Emitter.

After several months of operation with the Max-Emitter, the mine management noticed a pleasant surprise, monthly gold production had increased by 10%, and the only explanation was the change in drip emitters. The Max-Emitter was not plugging and as a result, had improved solution distribution over the heap leach area. Improved solution distribution, i.e., putting the leach solution at the right place at the right time for the complete leach cycle, increased gold extraction from the heap.


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