New oxygen system extends gold mine's lifespan

Jon Lawson

Oxair Gas Systems’ oxygen equipment is helping one of the leading gold mining companies in the world and long-term client AngloGold Ashanti extract more of the precious metal from one of its flagship mines, potentially extending the life of the open pit in Tanzania.

Two oxygen Booster Processors for increasing oxygen pressure and two oxygen generator tonnage plants to further improve the efficiency of the leaching process have been installed at Geita Gold Mine by Oxair, enhancing gold recoveries and protecting the environment by reducing cyanide consumption.
Geita, AngloGold’s largest mine in Africa and earmarked for expansion, extracted 489,000 ounces of gold in 2016 which it exports in the form of Gold Bars, contributing almost $600 million in revenue annually to the Tanzanian economy.
This latest significant investment in Oxair’s equipment is helping to increase production and extend the mine’s lifespan beyond 2025, when it was originally set for closure. The state-of-the-art equipment supplied by Oxair, which includes upgraded control systems, will double the reliable source of pure oxygen for the future activities planned at Geita.
It will mean significant efficiencies in carbon in the leach technology method of gold recovery and should help the mine be both economically and environmentally sound for its extended life-span.
Using oxygen generators significantly improves the gold dissolution process through adding highly purified oxygen at the slurry stage of the leaching process. Mined rock is usually ground up and turned into a slurry by adding lime, cyanide, oxygen and water before being fed through a carbon bed to extract the gold. Incorporating highly purified oxygen actually allows cyanide to work more efficiently and thus reduces the quantity of cyanide needed in the process.
Oxair’s Oxygen Tonnage Plants are operated automatically with PLC control systems, inclusive of an oxygen analyser. By providing low power consumption air separation technology, Oxair’s equipment offers high purity oxygen perfectly suited to gold mining and other related industrial sectors.

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