Glencore Technology and SGS Minerals recently announced an agreement for SGS to become the latest laboratory to be certified to conduct amenability level Albion Process testwork.

The Albion Process handles base or precious metal concentrates using ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure. The sulphides in the feed are oxidized and valuable metals liberated, with the economic metals recovered by conventional downstream processing.

SGS’s Lakefield site in North America will be the third certified provider of testwork, joining Core Resources in Australia and TOMS Institute in Russia. According to Glencore Technology, while the number of certified laboratories will expand in other key geographic areas, it will be kept to a relatively small number to maintain quality. It noted that  testwork certification is important to both companies because the correct performance of the testwork is key to the successful full-scale implementation of the Albion Process on which performance guarantees are based.

Glencore Technology said the Albion Process has experienced success in delivering consistently high recoveries in refractory gold and in copper concentrates with six plants in operation globally. Because it tolerates a more variable feed and lower grade, it can therefore make some projects feasible and profitable where alternative technologies were unable to, according to the company. It also mentioned that independent analysis presented at Extraction 2018 suggested it has much lower capital cost than traditional leaching technologies like pressure oxidation (POx) plants.