SA Innovation Champions Announced
Havilah Resources won the Commercial Achievement Award for the funding model it devised to bring its Portia gold mine to fruition. For Havilah the award capped off a rather good day. Just hours before its name was called out at the awards, the company started processing the first gold ore at the Portia mine.
Mechvac, which designed, built and installed a heap leach demonstration plant for BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam operation, received a high commendation in the commercial category.
IMP Technologies and OZ Minerals both received the Innovation in Resources Award.
OZ received its award for its Hydromet technology that significantly improves the quality of copper concentrate.
For IMP it was its super fine crushing technology that sealed the deal. Work on the project began more than a decade ago. IMP Technology technical director Chris Kelsey put together the first prototype at his property on the fringe of the McLaren Vale wine region. The IMP technology is being touted as a game changer because it produces fine particles with dramatically reduced energy use. With rock crushing using 10% of the world’s energy it is potentially a game changing technology.
IMP Technology managing director and CEO John Doherty said the crusher could handle materials of almost any hardness including zircon, quartz or garnet in the range D50 of 5 microns, media free, in a wet or dry environment.
The OZ Hydromet technology mixes new chemistry with existing technologies to increase copper in-concentrate grades. It involves processing copper concentrate containing chalcopyrite and bornite, converting those two minerals into chalcocite by leaching out the iron and other impurities.