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Percolation Leaching: The status globally and in Southern Africa

The minerals processing industry will always have a need for technologies that
make the exploitation of smaller, lower-grade and complex resources economically viable.

Examples from the southern African minerals industry include efforts to extend t
Sales price 7631.58 R

The minerals processing industry will always have a need for technologies that make the exploitation of smaller, lower-grade and complex resources economically viable. Examples from the southern African minerals industry include efforts to extend the economic life of ageing gold mines, exploit the low-grade sandstone-hosted uranium deposits, and treat the copper-oxide caps and lateritic nickel ores. Heap leaching, and other percolation-leaching adaptations (such as dump-, vat- and in situ-leaching), is not a single or static technology. Innovation is occurring continuously all over the world, in order to adapt to an ever increasing number of potential applications, including even attempts at in-situ leaching of metals from hard rock.

A large number of exploration projects are being undertaken, and several of the new ore resources may only be economically treatable by some form of percolation leaching. The southern African region in particular presents new and extensive opportunities to international percolation leaching engineers and vendors to market their expertise and products.

This conference aims to open a fresh discussion and debate on all forms of percolation leaching, and its potential future role. Topics would include lessons to be learnt from established international projects, the latest developments in design and engineering related to percolation leaching projects, and identification of challenges that still require further innovation. This forum will present an opportunity to share knowledge and experience in the latest percolation leaching developments from around the world.

A sound understanding of the controlling mechanisms in solution mining will promote more efficient processes and provide great value to design engineers, investors and mine operators. Percolation leaching may appear simple to the uninitiated. However its success relies heavily on correct design, since problems can often not be remedied after operation has started. Case studies therefore provide valuable insights gained from practical experience, to compliment the fundamental formulations provided by academics.

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Sponsorship opportunities::

The following sponsorship opportunities are available:

Patron Sponsorship
Exhibitor Sponsorship
Banner Exhibitor
Advertisement Sponsor
Cocktail Sponsorship
Lanyards Sponsor
Conference Bags Sponsor
Dinner Sponsorship

Companies wishing to sponsor or exhibit should contact the Conference Coordinator

Raymond van der berg
Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, P O Box 61127
Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923
Co-ordinator Email:


Organising Committee::

Conference Committee Chairman
Petrus Van Staden

Åke Sandstrom
Amado Guzman
Antony Cowey
Rob Bowell
Dave Dew
F Rundwell
Gabriel Zarate
Giles Searby
Gavin Horscroft
Geysa Pereira
Hans von Michaelis
Jennifer Broadhurst
Jochen Petersen
John Neale
Mariekie Gericke
Petrus Basson
Phil Staley
Prof. D Rawlings
Rob van Hille
Randall Pyper
Prof. Rodney Jones
Roelf F. Sandenbergh
Stefan Robertson
Sue Harrison
Tshepo Malefetse
Willem van der Merwe


Who should attend::

- Practitioners, researchers, consultants and technology suppliers in heap-, dump-, vat- and in situ leaching
- Engineers and scientists working in the extractive metallurgy of gold, uranium and base metals, be it in research and development, design and engineering, or production
- Exploration companies looking for new deposits of gold, uranium and base metals
- Role players in the formulation of policy and regulations related to exploration, mining and environmental impact.



Papers are invited that integrate the following topics:

- Case studies on the successes and failures of percolation leaching
- Water balancing in arid climates (such as Chile and Namibia) and wet climates (such as Zambia)
- The prospects for solution-mining from competent rock, copper extraction from oxide and sulphide ores, and the extraction of residual gold and uranium values from slimes dams by percolation leaching
- Addressing the mineralogy, geomechanics, geochemistry and logistics associated with envisaged projects to exploit sandstone hosted uranium and low-grade ores, waste and oxide-coppercaps, and nickel laterites
- Flowsheet development and engineering
- Advances in laboratory results interpretation and scale-up
- Benefits of HPGR in percolation leaching
- Advances in heap bioleaching and high temperature heap leaching
- Environmental impact assessment, mitigation, rehabilitation and lixiviants for percolation leaching
- Mathematical modelling, fundamentals, biology and teaching of percolation leaching
- How to build sustainable economies from the exploitation of mineral resources
- The role of patents and other forms of IP in a technical field where a high level of innovation is still anticipated to take place.


Call for papers::

The Conference is being organised by The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and papers are invited for the Conference.

Prospective authors are invited to submit titles and abstracts of their papers, in English. The abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and should be submitted to:

Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, PO Box 61127
Marshalltown 2107
South Africa
Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923
Co-ordinator Email:


Key Dates & Publication::

2 May 2011 Submission of abstracts
1 July 2011 Acceptance of abstracts
7–9 November 2011 Conference

Please note:
All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. Selected papers will be published in the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.


Conference Short Course::

The following short course will form part of the conference on 7 November 2011

During the "Fundamentals of Heap Leaching" short course by Dr. J. Petersen and Mr. A. Guzman, who are both recognized world leaders in their respective disciplines will present the current fundamental understanding of the transport and reaction phenomena of heap leaching.
                                    Fundamentals of Heap Leaching

Presenters: Dr. J. Petersen – University of Cape Town
                    A.Guzman – HydroGeoSense Inc

Course Objective:
To present the current fundamental understanding of heap leaching as well as potential solutions to the design and perational challenges faced by heap leaching projects.

Course Outline:
The fundamentals of heap leaching are divided into:
a) The mass transport of fluids through the ore, and
b) The chemical, metallurgical and thermodynamic phenomena, which together yield the net mineral dissolution and metal extraction observed on macro scale.

Presented by Amado Guzman
*Criteria and specifications for heap leach process design
*Recent advances on physical characterization of leaching targets
*Implications of such measurements for scale-up
*Industrial monitoring and control of leaching process

Presented by Jochen Petersen
*Reaction and mass transfer phenomena in leaching heaps
*'Speed limits' to heap leaching processes and how to overcome them
*Mathematical modeling of heap leaching
*Some model implications for heap design and operation

"The Future of heap leaching", will be presented jointly, followed by opportunity for open discussions and contributions from the audience



Monday 7 November 2011

09:00 – 10:30      Fundamentals of Heap Leaching Short Course

10:30 – 11:00      Morning Tea

11:00 – 12:00      Fundamentals of Heap Leaching Short Course

12:00 – 13:00      Lunch

13:00 – 14:30      Fundamentals of Heap Leaching Short Course

14:30 – 15:00      Afternoon Tea

15:00 – 16:00      Fundamentals of Heap Leaching Short Course

17:00 – 19:00      Welcome Cocktail & Registration

Tuesday 8 November 2011

07:30 – 08:00      Registration and Coffee

08:00- 08:05        Welcome - Chairman

08:05 – 08:20      Welcome Address
                             Prof. N van der Merwe, President, SAIMM

08:20 – 08:50      Opening Address:
                             Percolation Leaching in Southern Africa
                             P.J. van Staden, Mintek

Process Design, Engineering and Operational Practise

08:50 – 09:20      Keynote Speaker:
                             Evolution of metallurgical parameters at Mantoverde division of
                             Anglo American copper
                             Cristian Salgado, Carlos Perez, Cristian Alvayai, Gabriel Zarate,
                             Anglo American Chile

09:20 – 09:45       The Art of Heap Leaching- The Fundamentals
                              L W John, Bio Metallurgical

09:45 – 10:10       Copper Heap Leaching in Chile – Current Status & Future Direction
                              Eduardo Robles and Carlos García,
                              Hatch Ingenieros y Consultores Ltda.

10:10 – 10:30        Morning Tea

10:30 – 10:55        Optimization of vat leaching operation at Mantos Blancos division
                               of Anglo American copper
                               Juan Nuñez and Gabriel Zarate, Anglo American Chile

10:55 –11:20         Talvivaara bioheapleaching process
                               Pauliina Saari and Marja Riekkola-Vanhanen, Talvivaara
                               Sotkamo Mine Ltd

11:20 – 11:45        The geology of the Karoo sandstone-hosted uranium deposits,
                               and their possible exploitation by in situ leaching methods
                               Dr George Henry, CSIR

11:45 - 12:10          SART for copper control in cyanide heap leaching
                                M.P Stewart and D.W Kappes, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates

12:10 – 13:00         Lunch

13:00 – 13:25         Geometallurgical ore characterisation for heap leaching
                                Angus McFarlane, Lyudmyla Koziy and James Barclay-Martin,
                                The University of Queensland CSIRO Process Science and
                                Engineering, University of Tasmania

13:25 – 13:50          High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR) applications in Heap
                                 Leaching and in Other Percolation Leaching Processes – Benefits,
                                 Testing and Avoidable pitfalls.
                                 Hans von Michaelis, Randol International Ltd

13:50 – 14:15           Advances in high temperature heap leaching of refractory
                                 copper sulphide ores, 
                                 S W Robertson and P van Staden, Mintek

14:15 – 14:40           Defining the physical properties of good agglomerates
                                 Angus McFarlane, Laura L Kuhar, Nicole Turner, Nicole M Botsis
                                 and Stephanie Ravi, The University of Queensland, CSIRO 
                                 Process Science and Engineering

14:40 – 15:05          Afternoon Tea

15:05 – 15:30           Ore Geo-Mechanical Properties and Effects on Copper Heap
                                  Leach Kinetics
                                  G Miller, Miller Metallurgical Services

15:30 – 15:55            Assessing a Two-Stage Heap Leaching Process for Platreef
                                  Flotation Concentrate
                                  J M Mwase, J Petersen, J J Eksteen, University of Cape Town,
                                  Western Platinum Limited.

18:00 – 21: 00            Dinner

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Modelling, Academic and Fundamental Aspects

07:30 – 08:30             Registration and Coffee

08:30- 08:35              Welcome – Chairman

08:35 – 09: 15            Keynote Speaker:
                                   Myths and misunderstandings in leaching
                                   F Crundwell, N Du Preez, CM Solutions Pty Ltd

09:15 – 09 :40           Review on the role of microbiology in the design and operation
                                  of heap bioleaching processes
                                  Mariekie Gericke, Mintek

09:40- 10:05             The Development of Heap Leaching in Chloride Solutions for
                                  Primary and Secondary Copper Minerals
                                  Michael Nicol , Hajime Miki, Derick Rautenbach,
                                  Lilian Velasques a
nd Craig van Buuren, Murdoch University
                                  BHP Billiton, 
Chile Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile

10:05 – 10:30           Morning Tea

10:30 – 10:55           High Temperature Heap Leaching of Chalcopyrite: Method of
                                 Evaluation and Process Model Validation
                                 D W Dew, Derick Rautenbach, Ian Harvey, John Truelove, and
                                 Rob van Hille, Bioleaching Technology BHP Billiton Chile BHP
                                 Billiton Base Metals University of Cape Town

10:55 –11:20           Investigation of Heap Leaching at the P Scale Using X-ray
                                Computed Tomography
                                Y Ghorbani, J Petersen, M Becker, A Mainza and J P Franzidis,
                                University of Cape Town

11:20 – 11:45          Mathematical and Computer Modelling of the Chloride Assisted
                                Leaching of Covellite. Pore Diffusion Phenomena
                                Alexey Cherkaeva, Petrus Basson, Jochen Petersen, University
                                of Cape Town, Mintek

11:45 - 12:10          Mathematical modelling of heap leaching under drip irrigation
                                D Dixon, University of British Columbia

12:10 – 13:30          Lunch

Risk, Environmental and IP Management

13:30 – 14:10          Keynote speaker:
                                Sustainability issues related to heap leaching operations
                                J Lupo, Newmont Mining Corporation

14:10 – 14:35          Hydrodynamic properties of ore for leach
                                A Guzman, HydroGeoSense Inc

14:35 – 15:00         Financial Risk Reduction Via Hybrid Heap Leaching
                               L W John, Bio Metallurgical

15:00 – 15:25         Patenting in the Field of Percolation Leaching
                               R Taberer, McCallum Rademeyer & Freimond

15:25 – 15:50        Afternoon Tea



Social Programme::

7 November 2011      Welcome Cocktail & Conference Registration
8 November 2011      Conference Dinner


Registration Fees::

Registration Fee       SAIMM Members R 7 500
Registration Fee       Non SAIMM Members R 8 700
Registration Fee      Student/ Retired Members R 2 500

Please note:
- Non-members are entitled to free membership of the SAIMM, up to 30 June 2012, for attending this event
- Registration fee does not include accommodation
- Prepayment is required for all Registration Fees on or before the date of the event.
- Delegates who have not paid will not be permitted to attend the event



The conference will be hosted at the Misty Hills Conference Centre, which is located in the C