Wardell Armstrong International provide high quality metallurgical testwork programmes ranging from initial bench scoping investigations to feasibility studies and pilot plant campaigns. We have extensive experience on a variety of ore and commodity types from across the world.

Our metallurgical testing forms a key part of the overall development of a mining project, with testing being conducted to the highest standard and consideration made to the overall project economics, as well as metallurgical performance.

Sample preparation is a fundamental requirement of high-quality test work. It is necessary to produce homogenous and representative sub-samples for downstream test work or analysis.

Wardell Armstrong International are able to provide a wide range of sample preparation solutions on samples ranging in size from a few kilograms to several tonnes.

The energy used during the crushing and grinding of an ore is one of the most significant costs within any mining operation. It is therefore critical that the energy requirements in terms of ore hardness are fully understood from an early stage of project development with the resulting data used to optimise the comminution circuit design.

Wardell Armstrong International can provide a wide range of standard comminution testing including:

  • JK Drop Weight Testing
  • SMC Testing
  • SAGDesign Testing
  • Bond Crusher Work Index Testing (CWi)
  • Bond Abrasion Index Testing (Ai)
  • Bond Rod Mill Work Index Testing (BRWi)
  • Bond Ball Mill Work Index Testing (BBWi)
  • Ultrafine Grinding

Froth flotation remains a widely used industrial beneficiation technique for most base metals and an increasing number of other non-sulphide ore bodies.

Testwork determines fundamental flotation parameters respective to the ore, such as grind size, residence times and reagent optimisation, as well as being used to project plant performance and refine devised flowsheets.

Our flotation test capabilities include:

  • Batch Testing
  • Rate Kinetic Testing
  • Open Circuit Testing
  • Locked Cycle Testing
  • Continuous Pilot Testing

Hydrometallurgy is becoming an increasingly important method of beneficiation as ore grades decrease and deposits become more mineralogically complex. Cyanide leaching is particularly widespread due to it being the main hydrometallurgical method of recovering gold from ores.

Wardell Armstrong International offers a range of hydrometallurgical testing using acid or alkaline media including:

  • Agitated Leach Testing
  • Bottle Roll Testing
  • Column Leach Testing
  • Agglomeration & Percolation Testing
  • Carbon Loading & Adsorption Testing

The concentration of minerals based on differences in density can be achieved by an array of gravity or enhanced gravity concentrators and is often used as a pre-concentration technique for downstream processes such as flotation or leaching.

Wardell Armstrong International can provide a variety of gravity separation techniques including:

  • Shaking Tables
  • Knelson Concentrator
  • Falcon Concentrator
  • Spirals
  • Jigs

We also offer heavy liquid separation to evaluate how a metallurgical sample might respond to gravity and dense medium separating technologies.

Magnetic separation is frequently used for iron ore, mineral sands, tin, tungsten, lithium and vanadium projects. Wardell Armstrong International can offer wet and dry magnetic processing at a range of magnetic intensities.

Understanding the mineralogical characteristics of an orebody is a key step in establishing the optimal process characteristics of the deposit.

By accurately defining the mineralogical properties of the ore, such as modal mineralogy, liberation & association characteristics and mineral grain size distribution, it is possible to develop processing solutions that are tailored to the specific requirements of the material being treated, thus improving process efficiency and reducing risk.

Our mineralogical analysis capabilities include:

  • Optical Mineralogy
  • X-Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD)
  • Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA)
  • SEM-based Automated Mineralogy (ZEISS and QEMSCAN)

The dewatering properties of differing concentrates and tailings is vital in determining thickener parameters and water recovery within a plant.

Our solid liquid separation testwork ranges from initial flocculant screening tests to determine the optimal flocculant type and dosage, to Unit Area Tests for conventional thickener unit area calculations. Filtration involving vacuum or pressure filters can be used to determine moisture content and filtration rates.

The ability to test a flowsheet both continuously and on a larger scale is an important part of the feasibility level assessment of a mining project, both to verify the results of the preceding bench scale testing and to generate products either for commercial appraisal or further testing.

Our modular pilot plant and a large inventory of processing equipment allows us to offer a purpose-built solution tailored to meet our clients’ requirement based on the operating conditions and results of previous testing.

Our pilot plant capabilities include:

  • Multi-stage crushing and grinding
  • Particle size classification
  • Rougher-cleaner-scavenger froth flotation circuits
  • Gravity separation
  • Leaching
  • Magnetic separation
  • Product dewatering

Chemical analysis forms an important part of any metallurgical test programme with our in-house facilities designed to provide high-quality results in the shortest possible timeframe to minimum delays and ensure that our testwork programmes are completed in the shortest possible timeframe.

Operating on a typical turnaround time of 48 hours, the services we are able to offer include:

  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)
  • Inductive Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP)
  • Fire Assay (FA)
  • LECO Analysis
  • X-Ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Classical wet and titrimetric methods

The environmental legacy of a mining operation can remain for many years and, if not managed correctly, has the potential to cause significant financial and reputational risk.

Understanding the long term environmental characteristics of products and wastes from any mining activity is therefore a key part of managing these risks.

Wardell Armstrong is able to offer a wide range of environmental testing solution to identify factors such as acid mine drainage (AMD) potential, metal solubility and bioaccessibility which can be used to generate an accurate prediction of the potential for the material to pollute the environment and allow suitable management and mitigation strategies to be development of the project, rather than as an afterthought.

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