2002 – Symposium – Treatment of Complex Gold Ores, Leura NSW
The Paulsens gold deposit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia was discovered by
CRA in 1998. In 2001 St Barbara Mines Limited (SBML) made a successful takeover
offer for Taipan Resources and then began an update of the previous Bankable Feasibility
Study (BFS) undertaken by Minproc Limited.
This paper describes the history of the metallurgical testwork, plant design and initial
development to optimise a project with complex metallurgical process characteristics.
The Paulsens ore is preg robbing, has cyanide soluble copper and nickel and is highly
sulphidic. The ore is relatively hard and requires a very fine grind size of P80 53 microns.
The metallurgical challenges have been met for this complex ore and the process
flowsheet include aspects not commonly associated with a typical gold plant.
The latest study changed the mining plan, utilised a second hand plant and improved the
robustness of the project economics.