The modernization of the pilot plant, which was put into operation back in 2006, will advance the Udokan mining and metallurgical plant to the main operational stage. The plant facilitates pilot testing of the ore processing flow design of the Udokan deposit set by the project documentation.
“Re-equipment is crucial because of the forthcoming entry into operation of the first stage of the Udokan project and design of the second stage,” explained German Mironov, Udokan Copper CEO.
According to him, re-equipment of the pilot plant brought its production processes and automation up to the latest industrial standards. It will facilitate full-fledged simulation of the first- and second-stage operation of the mining and metallurgical plant that is currently under construction.
The pilot plant upgrade project is based on the technical audit made by Metco Outotec in December 2019.
The pilot plan now has modern machines for bulk and sulfide flotation, equipment for thickening and countercurrent decantation of bulk and sellable sulfide concentrates, as well as hydrometallurgical processing units. Besides, the pilot plant renewed its pump stock, updated equipment used for copper electrolysis, as well as chemicals preparation and dosing.
The modernized plant has a design throughput of 1.3-1.4 tons of ore per hour.
The plant also has a certified diversified chemical laboratory, which includes technological, analytical, and mineralogical departments for studies into ore processing and metallurgy, as well as ore samples and ore by-products composition.
The approved program of pilot plant tests for 2021 comprises production tests using various ore types from the Udokan deposit accompanied by tests carried out together with leading research centers.