Paul Voigt, Daniel Mallah, Mike Hourn
The successful commissioning and ramp up of the Albion ProcessTM at the GPM Gold Project relied
on the successful scaling up of the process from batch and continuous pilot plant campaigns .
Critical information about reaction kinetics and residence time, grind size and pulp density were determined
at the laboratory scale and successfully applied to the commercial scale. A limitation of
small scale testwork, is that some parameters cannot be measured reliably and scaling up is a function
of the physical size of the equipment which isn’t possible to test with laboratory scale equipment.
Oxygen mass transfer rate is one such parameter since this is a complex interaction of many factors
including slurry temperature, solution and slurry chemistry, slurry viscosity, agitator type, dimensions
and power, oxygen bubble residence time, oxygen purity, tank geometry and oxygen injection technique.
Oxygen generation represents an important operating cost for the Albion ProcessTM. Pivotal to
the Albion ProcessTM operating economically at atmospheric pressure is the capability to efficiently
transfer oxygen while utilising as much oxygen injected to the process as possible. To respond to this
Glencore Technology developed the HyperSpargeTM supersonic gas injector. This paper compares
the HyperSpargeTM against other sparging techniques to quantify the benefits of oxygen injection via
a supersonic gas jet on scale up of the oxygen mass transfer system. The paper then examines plant
survey data from the GPM Gold Project to demonstrate the very high oxygen utilisation that can be
achieved with a correctly designed oxygen mass transfer system.