No, I\’m not looking for someone to come and design a system for me.
Rather, I\’m just looking for a pointer to how I ought to be thinking about things.
OK, so what I\’ve got (conceptually this is) is a tailings/gangue pile.
From a granitic greisen. Originally mined for Sn/W
I know that this tailings pile is 50% very fine material. I\’m pretty sure what I want is in the fine stuff, so that\’s easy enough.
In there I know I\’ve got mica, some scheelite, remains of cassiterite and wolframite. Almost certainly some zircon (umm, zirconite)? Plus lots of other rubbish.
All of these have my target metal to some useful degree, 500 ppm to 3,000 ppm. The granite doesn\’t, but most of the other minerals do.
The question is, which way around to try and approach this?
a) Try to separate out the various minerals then put them through traditional techniques? Not worth it for the tin, tungsten etc values, but it is for getting my target metal or
b) Just dissolve (or heap leach, vat leach, whatever) the whole lot and just extract my target metal from the liquor? Then maybe others if it\’s worthwhile?
Not that I expect anyone to actually know the answer, but what\’s the right way to approach finding the answer?
I\’ll have access to a top notch mining university 20 km from the site but I want to try and walk through the right questions to ask before they all laugh at my ignorance…..