KCA is one of the pioneering firms in precious metals heap leaching. Our first U.S. project at Manhattan, Nevada, in 1972 was only the third in the world.

KCA designed, engineered, and was the general contractor on the Hog Ranch, Nevada, 4000 ton/day heap leach shown in the photo above. KCA provided all process installations and infrastructure at this remote site, including a man-camp and water and power supply systems. KCA also provided the most important aspect of a heap leach system - the design of the heaps and the solution application methodology. Hog Ranch was built at a total cost of $7 million and sold two years later for $100 million.

KCA's Engineering Services Division can offer you a variety of services designed to improve or simplify your technical management decisions:

Initial Scoping Studies through Bankable Feasibility Studies

KCA can provide basic "concept studies" to help guide your exploration efforts. As the project matures, KCA can provide other studies up to complete bankable feasibility studies. KCA's bankable studies have an admirable track record for securing financing.

Design of Process Components

The layout and design of the heaps, ore preparation, and stacking systems, are the keys to process success. Many heap leaches don't perform to their maximum because the heaps were designed by "specialists" such as geotechnical engineers. KCA designs heaps from a process engineering viewpoint, with many years of experience as a guide.

The Sterling Mine, Nevada, is an example of an unusual heap leach that was implemented by KCA using an innovative approach. Sterling is a high grade underground mine which processes all its ore by heap leaching. The photomicrograph on the right side shows the ore - a dirty, crystalline limestone. Gold flakes can be seen like beads on a necklace where they precipitated on the boundaries of calcite grains. In spite of the tight grain boundaries, recovery from ore assaying 12 grams/tonne (0.35 ounces/ton) is 95% at a crush size of 75mm (3 inches).

Reviews and Audits of Operations

All of KCA's engineers travel extensively and are continuously exposed to a wide variety of operating problems and solutions. The review of operations is a major aspect of what we do. 

  • Heap Leach Operations Review 

  • Crusher Operations 

  • Mill Operations 

  • Precious Metals Inventory Review

Performance audits of a heap leach project are difficult because heap leach recovery rates depend on many operational factors. KCA is often called upon to perform audits. We also provide routine "umpire" services for distribution of income streams to financial partners ore or royalty holders.

Complete Project Packages

KCA can provide a complete turnkey project to process your ore in the most cost effective manner. Why hire your own staff? We maintain personnel with peak technical skills who are fully supported by our experienced management team. We can handle your project from laboratory testing through gold production. We work throughout the world from our offices in Nevada, Australia, and Mexico.

If you are interested in obtaining any of our range of Engineering Services, you may contact us HERE.