IM honours the designer of innovative, state-of-the-art, step-change mineral processing flowsheets

Sandy Gray is inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame in the concentration category for 2015. In second place was Dr D. R. Nagaraj (Nag) who has more than 35 years of outstanding and innovative achievements in the design, development and commercialisation of numerous families of novel flotation reagents.

Gray, Technical Director and co-founder of Gekko Systems, has made a significant and unique contribution to the international mining industry. He has offered the industry a platform that maximises the recovery of minerals by using new developments alongside more conventional processing equipment. These developments can be used to eliminate waste and create a high-grade stream of concentrate from which minerals are extracted by gravity separation, or intensive cyanidation.  Both methods provide simple, economical, and environmentally responsible means of recovering a range of minerals.

Gray’s expertise in mineral processing is evident in his ability to design a range of innovative, state-of-the-art, step-change mineral processing flowsheets. The range of patented equipment includes; InLine Pressure Jig, InLine Leach Reactor, Python Modular Plant, and G-Rex Resin Column. These not only set new standards in design, fabrication and efficiency, but also in improved economic, environmental, and recovery rate benchmarks not met elsewhere in the mining industry.

The equipment he invented has established the following new principles:

  • Innovative with smaller environmental footprint
  • Significantly greater energy efficiencies and cost reductions
  • Modularity – Gekko’s equipment can be dismantled and angled to fit into previously inaccessible or economically unfeasible sites
  • Transportability – the equipment can be collapsed into containers and economically transported, providing long-term advantage to clients
  • High adaptability engineered and tailor-made for a specific site
  • Low capital cost and lower operating costs
  • Fully automated and controlled via PLC systems with remote connectivity
  • Gekko equipment can be constructed, pre-commissioned and calibrated before transportation, enabling rapid start-up, thereby increasing significant financial returns.

Advanced gravity separation is an alternative process offered through Gray’s innovative equipment compared with the 19th century-designed options currently available. His contribution has been to demonstrate not only the advantages of gravity separation as a viable means of mineral capture, but also when coupled with state-of-the-art, fine crushing technology, it can provide significant economic and energy efficient benefits to customers. The latest development is the modular Python Processing Plant which is inexpensive to operate, and capable of placement in previously inaccessible locations or deep mines. It also has the flow-on benefit when installed underground of reducing the volume of concentrate that has to be taken to the surface for further treatment to as low as 10%. This is unprecedented in the mining industry and has profound implications for the international mining community. Over 400 InLine Pressure Jigs have been sold into similar systems.

Another significant development has been the intensive cyanidation in gold and silver mines. The first commercial InLine Leach Reactor was installed into the Penjom Gold Mine in Malaysia in 1997. Since then many gold mines (some silver) use this technology to recover gold from gravity concentrates. The introduction of this technology not only increases overall recovery but also has major benefits in security and manual handling. Over 140 units have been installed worldwide.

Since 1996, Gray has led the mining industry into the 21st century by creating a range of economical, modular and environmentally responsible mineral processing equipment. He is an innovator of note and represents a perfect blend of vision and product development for the global mining industry.

Don’t forget to put your nominations in (to john@im-mining.com) for the 2016 inductions. There are 12 categories:

  1. Exploration
  2. Underground development
  3. Underground Production
  4. Surface mining
  5. Comminution
  6. Concentration
  7. Mining software
  8. Safety
  9. Bulk handling
  10. Metallurgy
  11. Environmental management and stewardship
  12. Outstanding innovator

 

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