Sedgman provided EPCM services for engineering and commissioning support to upgrade the copper and gold mine plant’s throughput capacity from 12 Mt/a to 16 Mt/a of copper and gold ore. The final product concentrate is trucked 1,000 kilometres in covered containers to a port in Thailand then shipped to smelters throughout Asia. Sedgman was engaged by PanAust Limited in 2011 to undertake engineering and procurement then assisted with commissioning in 2013.
The contract included detailed design, equipment tendering and supplier recommendations for the plant upgrade. Sedgman worked closely with client PanAust to deliver the project on time and within budget. Located approximately 120 km north of the Laos capital Vientiane, the Phu Kham project uses conventional shovel mining and truck haulage to the concentrator. The process plant comprises a semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill and twin ball mills grinding circuit, with copper and precious metal recovery by flotation.
SCOPE OF WORKS
The scope of work included the following:
- Raising nameplate capacity
- Upgrades to concentrator
- Upgrades to associated infrastructure
- Additional ball mill and additional flotation cells.
The upgrade to the process plant improved copper and gold ore processing rates and metal recoveries through a 50 per cent increase in grinding and flotation capacity. The additional capacity is designed to provide design and operational flexibility for further increases in processing rates. In addition, this also improves copper and gold recovery rates by two per cent through improved mineral liberation in the milling circuit and increased residence time in the flotation circuit.