Geometallurgy at Red Dog Mine: The Recovery Challenge
CIM Vancouver 2016
Dr Anelda Van Staden (Senior Process Mineralogist - Teck Metals)
Simplistic Pb, Zn and Ag recovery models were initially applied to the Red Dog Main deposit and subsequently improved to include a chemical analysis-based zinc recovery model. In 2004 a comprehensive geometallurgical program on the Aqqaluk orebody resulted in refinement of the existing universal Zn recovery model, and development of new Pb and Ag recovery models. The significant geometallurgical challenges posed by the complex paragenesis and overprinting relationships that characterize mineralization in the Red Dog deposit necessitated increasingly advanced approaches to better define ore characterization, process and throughput characteristics.
These ore characterization studies have helped establish SAG and ball mill hardness models and estimated mill throughput for the Red Dog Mine. Estimates of lead and zinc recovery as well as mill throughput are now available for each block in the geological model.
Located approximately 170 kilometres above the Arctic Circle in remote, northwestern Alaska, the Red Dog district hosts one of the world’s largest and highest grade Sedimentary Hosted Massive Sulphide (SHMS) Zn-Pb-Ag deposit clusters. Production began from the Red Dog Main deposit in 1989.