Going Beyond Milestone Achievements
MMC Kazakhaltyn JSC is a gold mining company based in Kazakstan focused on exploration, mining and processing of gold ore, production of gold products, and the processing, storage and sale of gold and other precious metals. It is one of Kazakhstan’s oldest gold mining companies, and was founded in 1932. Recently the company reached a milestone of 400 tonnes of gold extracted since its inception, but also wanted to deal with the issue of growing waste.
Over the 85 years, Kazakhaltyn had accumulated more than 25 million tonnes of gold-containing mineral waste on production sites, made up of ores and tailings that were too costly or not feasible for refining. Not only did this mean that mineral waste was continuing to mount, but the opportunity to gain more from it was being missed.
To maximise yield from this waste, in 2015, Kazakhaltyn launched its production expansion programme, involving the implementation of state-of-the-art beneficiation plants designed to extract additional gold ore from tailings at three of its sites – Zholymbet, Bestobe and Aksu. The first two sites utilised the carbon-in-leach (CIL) process to keep other carbonaceous materials from absorbing the gold, with the output transported to the third plant for the elution and electrowinning processes to extract the gold from its ores, before being melted to obtain the Doré bullions. The aim was to process and obtain 14 tonnes of gold Doré bullions in three to five years.