The latest Albion Process plant has reached a milestone at the GPM Gold project in Armenia, with the erection of the oxidative leaching circuit, according to GeoProMining Gold LLC officials.

The mine, undergoing construction, is designed to produce 128,000 gold oz per year from refractory ore. Xstrata Technology, a unit of Swiss-based giant Glencore Xstrata, is supplying all plant and equipment parts for the project within a comprehensive package.

The leaching circuit consists of 12 of Xstrata Technology’s novel ZipaTank modular slurry storage and leaching tanks, said Mike Hourn, general manager of hydrometallurgy at Xstrata Technology, adding that the onsite leaching circuit union has great technological significance.

“ZipaTanks were developed to simplify the erection of tanks at remote sites,” he said. “The ZipaTank consists of modular panels connected using joins, virtually eliminating welding and scaffolding; this reduces installation time, and overcomes quality issues.”

The 12 ZipaTanks were assembled and hydrostatically tested over eight weeks, using a single crane. The ZipaTanks are made of stainless steel, and can withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake, due to the highly active seismic setting for the project in the former Soviet republic.

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