Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) specializes in the development, engineering and implementation of extractive metallurgical processes for the mining industry. Since 1972, we have been known for our expertise in gold/silver heap leaching. Our staff of over 70 people includes more than 20 process engineers and 25 laboratory personnel who have a broad range of practical experience including copper leaching and recovery, flotation and gravity concentration, and development of complex hydrometallurgical flow sheets.
KCA supports our construction management activities in Mexico through our Mexican procurement/logistics subsidiary, SECL.
First bar is poured at the KCA EPCM Project La India, Mexico – November 2013
Mid-November 2013 saw the first gold bar pour at the La India mine site in Sonora, Mexico. The La India mine is wholly owned by Agnico Eagle Mine Limited through their Mexican Subsidiary Agnico Sonora, SA de C.V.. EPCM services were provided by KCA. The 6.3 MTPY operations utilize a heap leach and conventional adsorption-desorption-recovery (ADR) plant. KCA provided the design and supply of the recovery plant, a 1,310 m3/h ADR and 7-tonne modified Zadra pressure strip circuit through smelting, producing precious metal doré bars.
Regeneration circuit and recovery plant at Agnico Eagle’s La India project in Sonora, Mexico
High Pressure Grinding Roll Test Programs Available At KCA Reno – Summer 2013
KCA has partnered with Polysius Corp. and now has a High Pressure Grinding Roll (HPGR) at KCA’s Reno, Nevada facility. Polysius is a world leader in HPGR technology, supplying 60% of the mineral industries high pressure grinding rolls. HPGRs have traditionally been used in the diamond, base metal, and industrial mineral industries. HPGR involves two counter rotating rolls that are hydraulically pressed together at high pressures. Crushing results in a high fragmentation of fines and micro fracturing of material which facilitates maximum recoveries in leach applications. HGPRs also have the potential of replacing SAG Mill circuits and can have lower power, liner and mechanical wear consumption leading to lower operating costs than traditional Mills. KCA can facilitate HPGR test programs with testing on-site at KCA in conjunction with Polysius, Germany.
Polysius HPGR at KCA’s Reno, Nevada Facility
A Look at Comstock Mine and KCA’s Modular Analytical Laboratories – April 2013
In spring 2013, KCA completed the installation of a modular analytical laboratory for the Comstock Mine just outside of Virginia City, Nevada. The mine taps into the famous Comstock Lode, originally discovered in 1859, now being explored by Comstock Mining, Inc. The laboratory is designed to process 200 samples per day from sample prep through fire assay with atomic absorption finishes. Specialty equipment is installed into the modular labs prior to their arrival at site so that on-site installation time is shortened.
Aerial photograph of the Comstock operation; inset: KCA’s
modular lab units adjacent to the Merrill-Crowe recovery building
KCA Now Offers an On-Site Solution for Carbon Fines and Used Carbon – September 2012
KCA has developed a new system for converting carbon fines and used carbon to a clean dry ash that can be directly converted to bullion. This new equipment, KCA’s Carbon Converter, will be highlighted at the Las Vegas MinExpo in late September 2012. The system is a modular, self-contained unit for converting up to 500 kg of carbon per day into a fine dry ash. Dirty, wet carbon fines can be placed directly into the roasting chamber and even feather-light carbon ash is fully captured as a dry product. A two-stage absorption system fully captures mercury to “best attainable” EPA-acceptable levels without the use of chemicals. This new system provides a commercial solution that can be sized and easily implemented into any existing or proposed mining operation utilizing carbon.
Current Engineering Studies – January/February 2012
KCA provides a range of feasibility studies at all levels of project evaluation, from initial scoping studies through bankable feasibility studies, providing the right level of detail to support a project’s development. KCA is currently working on seven major studies for projects around the world as we start 2012:
STUDY OPERATION LOCATION
Pre-Feasibility 20,000 TPD – Heap Leach with Merrill-Crowe Indonesia
Pre-Feasibility 6,000 TPD – Agitated Leach with Merrill-Crowe USA
Pre-Feasibility 45,000 TPD – Heap Leach with ADR Turkey
Pre-Feasibility 2,500 TPD – Agitated Leach with Merrill-Crowe Mexico
Feasibility Study 30,000 TPD – Heap Leach with ADR Peru
Feasibility Study 1,000 TPD – Agitated Leach with Merrill-Crowe Guatemala
Feasibility Study 60,000 TPD – Heap Leach, Agitated Leach, and Flotation Chile
Bolkardag: EPCM Project in Turkey – December 2011
200 TPD Agitated leach for Gold & Silver
In the late 2008, KCA took the responsibility for the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) of the Bolkardag Project (also known as the Tepeköy Gold Mine) located in Turkey, near the town of Ulukışla in the Niğde province. The Bolkardag Project is a gold and silver recovery plant; utilizing a hot lime pretreatment followed by an agitated sodium cyanide leach and finally using the Merrill-Crowe process for precious metal extraction. The project started construction in early-2011 and was finished in mid-2011, but start-up of the plant was not possible due to governmental permitting delays. Commissioning and start-up resumed in late-2011 and the plant began feeding ore in mid-December. Start-up of the plant and gold/silver production began in January 2012.
Aerial view in November 2011 shows the Bolkardag Plant in Turkey close to completion
Aerial view in November 2011 shows the finished Bolkardag Plant in Turkey
New Technical Paper Presented by KCA - November 2011
South African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy November 8 - 9
Kappes, Cassiday & Associates was a major sponsor at SAIMM’s Percolation Leaching Symposium in 2011 and presented a technical paper on the Sulfidization, Acidification, Recycling, and Thickening process (SART). The paper, by Matthew Stewart and Daniel Kappes, discusses the applications and benefits of SART for controlling copper in cyanide heap leaching, and presents some ideas on how to simplify the conventional SART circuit design.
Click here to view SART for Copper Control in Cyanide Heap Leaching
EPC Services in Mexico - October 2011
La Colorada & El Castillo
KCA has built numerous recovery plants including the two recent Mexico projects, El Castillo and La Colorada. Providing EPC services for La Colorada, KCA is currently fabricating A 700 m3/hour column train with a 3.5 tonne strip circuit planned for future construction. KCA provided EPC services for two sets of 840 m3/hour carbon columns at El Castillo plus pond pumping systems and main heap headers.
Taken September 2001, the picture shows the
progress at La Colorada
One of the 840 m3/hour carbon columns
built at El Castillo, Mexico
Agnico Eagle's Mascota Project Complete - May 2010
Construction Complete for 3700 TPD Heap Leach & 375 m3/hr ADR Mascota Project
The ADR Plant at the Mascota Gold Mine in
Chihuahua, Mexico - 19 April 2011
Involved in multiple projects with Agnico Eagle Mexico, KCA provided EPCM services for the ADR portion of their Mascota project in Chihuahua, Mexico, now complete. Also directly involved with the operation as a whole, KCA prepared the Scoping Study for the project in November 2008, and acted as project engineer through the completion of construction and commissioning of the plant. The operation includes three stage crushing, screening, agglomeration, CIC adsorption, pressure Zadra desorption, recovery and refining.
KCA's laboratory has just acquired a state-of-the-art ion chromatograph, which can quickly and efficiently analyze solutions for anions such as cyanide and thiocyanate, sulfate, thiosulfate, sulfide, and a variety of other complexes. This is an important and powerful tool for following the evolution of different leach chemistries during complex flowsheet development.
KCA has just completed a new ADR plant at its facility in Reno, Nevada. This plant is a Model 125 Carbon Adsorption-Desorption-Recovery Plant - 125 cubic meters of solution per hour.
KCA is designing three large projects in Mexico and one in Bolivia. KCA has begun field construction of a 4000 tonne per day cyanide leach plant and 2500 tonne per day heap leach at the Pinos Altos project of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.
KCA successfully completed the $104 million Ocampo, Mexico project for Gammon Lake Resources. KCA had full responsibility for engineering, procurement, and construction management.
Model 125 Carbon Adsorption-Desorption-Recovery Plant
at KCA's Reno, Nevada facility
1,500 tonne/day agitated cyanide leach plant,
designed and built by KCA at Ocampo, Mexico
KCA provided the Engineering, Procurement and
Construction Management services (EPCM Services)
for the $140 million Pinos Altos
Project in Chihuahua, Mexico of Agnico Eagle.