2017 Mining History Association Tour

 

Tour of Sumitomo Metal Mining, Pogo Mine
Tour Leaders: Tom Bundtzen at the
Pogo Mine and Mill Staff
June 19, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY 3 of 3
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The complex mill flowsheet employs several main processes: grinding, gravity separation; froth flotation; leaching; carbon-in-pulp separation; carbon stripping; electrowinning; and cyanide destruction.  After gold extraction, about 40% of the tailings are mixed with cement and pumped underground as paste backfill for the empty stopes.  About 60% of the tailings are filtered to remove water and dry-stacked in a surface tailings disposal facility.  The final products are 50 pound gold bars.

The 2500 foot long “Blue Tube” contains a belt conveyor which moves the ore from the mine to the mill on the hill above.

 


The mill processing flow is complex.  The Metallurgist presented a briefing to explain the process before the MHAers began the tour.


Ore from the mine first goes to the SAG (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) mill in which larger rocks serve as grinding media to reduce the size of ore particles.


The ball mill (right) further reduces the size of the ore particles to liberate gold and other minerals.

 


 

(Above)  Ore from the grinding processes is screened with fine particles passing to a gravity separation process where free gold is separated from sulfide minerals. Oversized material is sent back for regrinding.

 

(Right) A series of selective flotation cells is used to separate gold-sulfide minerals and fine metallic gold particles from tailings.  All sulfide ore tailings are returned to the mine for backfill.  The non-sulfide tailings not used for backfill are dewatered and disposed in a dry stacked tailings facility.

 

 

 

Froth on the top of a cylindrical flotation cell. Each of the seven cells uses different chemical reagents to either float or suppress certain minerals.

The Mill section containing gold leaching, Carbon-In-Pulp (CIP) gold extraction, and electrowinning plus cyanide destruction using the INCO SO2 process.

 

MANY THANKS TO SUMITOMO MINING AND
THE POGO MINE STAFF FOR THEIR EXCELLENT TOUR AND
FOR BEING A SPONSOR OF THE FAIRBANKS MHA CONFERENCE


Photos by Mark and Lynn Langenfeld and Mike and Pat Kaas

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