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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: December 21st 2005


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:: Knelsons Green Turns to Gold at Randgold Resources Loulo Mine

Commissioning a brand new gold plant can be a daunting task at the best of times. Commissioning a brand new gold plant in a remote part of Mali in the sweltering heat of mid-summer is nothing short of a pressure cooker. Thatís why it came as a huge relief to all concerned when, only two days after the concentrators were brought on line, the Knelson gravity circuit started to produce.

In October 2005, the gravity circuit which consists of two KC-XD48 concentrators had produced over 100Kgs of gold before the first carbon stripping had commenced. The expected gravity recovery of the contained gold was 5% - but the actual gravity was a pleasantly surprising 21.55% .

According to Luiz Correia , plant manager at Loulo, commissioning of the Knelson units was a trouble-free part of the overall plant commissioning. "No problems have been experienced to date with the Knelson units. In fact they operate effortlessly, they are a pleasure and have been hassle-free during this time of commissioning."

The Loulo Mine is owned and operated Randgold Resources and is located in the western region of Mali close to the border with Senegal. It is an opencast operation with average grades of 4 grams/tonne and overall reserves (measured, indicated and inferred) in excess of 8 million ounces. Randgold also holds a 40% interest in the Morila Gold Mine located in the south-east region of Mali which also operates a Knelson-based gravity circuit.




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