According to Alan Rayburn, an author who wrote about Canadian place names, there are 24 geographic features, mostly island, lakes, and hills – in Canada with the word valentine (or a form of it) in it. There are two Valentine Lakes there – one in central Newfoundland and one near Hearst, Ontario – named because of their distinctive heart shapes.
Only one of them, however, is known for its precious metals deposits. The Valentine Lake Gold Camp is an open pit mine in Newfoundland. According to Mining Data Online Inc., four gold deposits and numerous gold prospects and occurrences at earlier stages of exploration have been discovered to date over a total strike length of 20 km of the property.
To recover that gold, mined rock has to be crushed, screened, and processed with chemicals to retrieve those trace amounts of valuable gold. The processing of the ore is a complex process and requires specialized equipment and technology.
The Globe Newswire reported that gold recovery is being done by a combination of a milling circuit and heap leaching, incorporating gravity and flotation circuits with leaching of the concentrate and tails. The Valentine Lake project boasts two gold processing plants, heap leach and mill operations, and includes crushing, grinding, stacking, screening, flotation, acid washing, solvent extraction, and polishing, among other processes.
In this complex mining and mineral beneficiation plant it is important to have critical information about the material being processed in real-time to make the best decisions to efficiently operate the processing plant and maximize economic returns. To this end we know mining operations use crossbelt online elemental analyzers to provide reliable and accurate online analysis of minerals. The equipment analyzes the bulk materials that are flowing through their production process. Minute-by-minute online analysis of ores, concentrates and various raw materials allows accurate high frequency process control to reduce process upsets, increase throughput and maintain quality all while extending mine life.
These analyzers utilize Prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) or pulsed fast thermal neutron activation (PFTNA) technology, which are non-contact, non-destructive analytical techniques. PGNAA analyzers are situated directly on the conveyor belt and penetrate the entire raw material cross-section, providing minute-by-minute, uniform measurement of the entire material stream, not just a sample. (Learn more about Crossbelt analyzers in this previously published article, Crossbelt Conveyor Considerations – What You Need To Know.)
Most metal mining operations also utilize online slurry particle size and elemental analysis in their metallurgical plants. Online slurry analysis systems provide accurate, particle size and real-time elemental analysis for process control in the grinding and flotation plants of minerals processing operations. As we mentioned, accurate, high-availability elemental analysis helps enable improvements in product quality, recovery and lower production costs. In addition, proper selection and application of on-line analysis and slurry sampling zones for grinding and flotation plants can help deliver a reliable and trustworthy solution for both control and metal accounting, ensuring that the expected ROI for such investments can be realized.
A well-designed, representative sampling station is also essential for accurate process control, metallurgical accounting, and the calibration of an online analysis system. Metallurgical accounting is used to account for the metal plant operations, metal recovery rates and material losses as it pertains to the performance of the mine and of mining operations. We previously wrote about the importance of online analysis in metallurgical accounting.
The Marathon Gold exploration company, which owns the Valentine Lake Gold Camp located in Newfoundland, boasts that it “currently hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell constrained, deposits with measured and indicated resources totaling 2,691,400 oz. of gold at 1.85 g/t and inferred resources totaling 1,531,600 oz. of gold at 1.77 g/t.” If that pans out, it is one sweetheart of a mine.
Editor’s Note: For more information about bulk handling and slurry analysis systems, read: