Inderscience Publishers

The effect of comminution equipment on gravity gold recovery in small-scale mining operations

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As a strategy to improve gold recovery in the small-scale mining industry of Ghana, comminution equipment utilised in grinding was investigated. Morphological studies show that gold particles liberated by hammer mills were globular, disc mills produced cigar-shaped particles, and stamp mills created flaky units. Up to 5% of the gold particles liberated using a disc mill were coated with iron due to smears from the grinding surfaces. Based on shape-factors, the efficiency of subsequent gravity concentration operations increased in the order of flakes < cigars < spheres. A proposed flowsheet increased the gold extraction by over 15%.

Keywords: Ghana, small-scale mining, gold mining, artisanal mining, environment, environmental pollution, human health, health risks, mercury amalgamation, hammer mills, disc mills, stamp mills, gold recovery, gravity

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