Gekko Systems IPJs make a significant contribution to copper recovery at New Afton
Im-mining - The New Afton Mine is wholly owned by New Gold. The mine site is located in Kamloops, British Columbia. The mining method is block cave with the primary copper-bearing mineral in the original cave being primarily chalcopyrite. However, the New Afton Mine has more recently processed large quantities of metallic native copper from the upper oxide (supergene) and transition ores which do not recover as well in the conventional flotation circuit. According to Senior Metallurgist, Jennifer Katchen, this put at risk an average of 4.5% copper recovery in supergene ore and potentially more on individual days depending on the amount of native copper in the plant feed.
The project justification utilised an overall Cu recovery increase of 1.4% between October 2018-2021 with a payback period of two years. Because of the nature of the block cave, which draws ore down from the bottom and creates a cone of depression, it is difficult to control the feed blend to the mill.