2 CrushingThe primary crushers located at the open pit mine site receive ore and waste at separate times They break the larger rocks down to a size suitable for transport on the conveyor belt See more detail on crushing.
3 TransportA rubber belted conveyor transports the ore and waste rock from the open pit approximately two kilometres via a tunnel through Union Hill to the mill and waste rock embankments Large electromagnets remove any steel debris excavated from the old Martha Mine workings See more detail on conveying.
4 Grinding and sizingOre from both open pit and underground is stockpiled separately at the mill before being fed into a S A G mill with lime water and steel balls The larger particles from this mill are returned to the S A G mill for more grinding The finer particles receive more grinding in a ball mill and are size classified to give a final product of 80 lt microns See more detail on grinding and sizing.
5 Leaching and adsorptionA slurry of ground ore water and a weak cyanide solution is fed into large steel leach tanks where the gold and silver are dissolved Following this leaching process the slurry passes through six adsorption tanks containing carbon granules which adsorb the gold and silver This process removes 93 of the gold and 70 of the silver See more detail on leaching and adsorption.
6 Elution and electrowinningThe loaded carbon is fed into an elution column where the bullion is washed off The barren carbon is recycled The wash solutionpregnant electrolyteis passed through electrowinning cells where gold and silver is won onto stainless steel cathodes See more detail on elution and electrowinning.
7 Bullion productionThe loaded cathodes are rinsed to yield a gold and silver bearing sludge which is dried mixed with fluxes and put into the furnace After several hours the molten material is poured into a cascade of moulds producing bars of dor bullion See more detail on bullion production.
8 Water treatmentSome water from dewatering the mine from the embankment underdrains and decant water from the tailings pond is recycled for use in the grinding circuit Excess water is pumped to the water treatment plant and treated to the required standards before discharge into the Ohinemuri River.
9 Tailings disposalWaste rock from the open pit mine is used to build the embankment structures The embankments retain the tailings slurry in a pond where solids settle and compact Water is decanted off and used in the process plant or treated before it is discharged See more detail on tailings disposal.
This flowchart made of machinery icons explains or expresses in simple but clear terms the step of theCopper Mining and Copper Extraction Process Starting from either open pit or underground mining and using a different relevant treatment method for oxide or sulphide copper mineral ore.
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