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Process Development

From concept to commercialization.
A world of experience and expertise.
A proven track record.

Sherritt Technologies is a recognized leader in the application of pressure hydrometallurgy and development and commercialization of hydrometallurgical processes for the recovery of metals. With a long history as an operator of pressure hydrometallurgical circuits, we use our expertise to help clients unlock the value in ores and concentrate feeds. This covers a range of services of metallurgical testing and process development. Sherritt Technologies have provided process development and commercialization services for laterite, nickel-copper matte, copper, gold, and zinc for clients all over the world.

Project Phases

Sherritt Technologies can help streamline process development processes by identifying process problems and implementing solutions as early as possible, thus reducing the length and cost of piloting. Sherritt can deliver effective pilot plant campaigns that collect commercial design data, produce and test representative process materials for equipment sizing, demonstrate the integrity of the process and demonstrate the quality of the process products to our clients, financial institutions and environmental authorities. Through analysis of observed changes in results during continuous integrated testing often Sherritt can help make flowsheet modifications to develop a process that is robust in accommodating subtle variations in plant feeds.

Sherritt Technologies can help with any and all of the following process development activities:

Feed Characterization to analyze and characterize the representative feed materials;

Benchtop/Batch Scoping Tests to define the approximate process conditions, observe the performance at the selected process conditions, and determine if process expectations can be met with a client’s proposed feed ore or concentrate;

Conceptual Engineering Study in parallel with scoping tests to develop capital and operating cost data using batch test results and Sherritt’s commercial experience;

Continuous Pilot Plant test work on individual steps of the process to define operating conditions and to generate intermediate materials for recycle, to facilitate a shorter integrated pilot plant campaign;

Preliminary Engineering Study to update the conceptual engineering study for developing capital and operating cost data using the pilot plant test work test results and Sherritt’s commercial experience;

Batch Testing to better define operating conditions and Locked-Cycle tests (recycle of materials in a series of batch tests) to better define the deportment of minor elements especially where recycle streams are to be included in the commercial plant;

Continuous Integrated Pilot Plant Campaigns – All process steps are operated in unison to demonstrate the technical performance of the process and to generate design criteria for the commercial plant design; leading to design specifications, engineering drawings and other documentation for detailed Engineering studies and/or final commercial design (See more on our Engineering services page).

Preliminary Engineering to update the conceptual engineering study for developing capital and operating cost data using the pilot plant test results and Sherritt’s commercial experience;

Technology
Commercialization

More than 40 operating plants worldwide have successfully applied Sherritt’s processing expertise.

We work with clients to develop and commercialize processes for the recovery of copper, gallium, indium, lead, molybdenum, silver and vanadium, and for the removal of undesirable elements such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, iron, manganese, selenium, silicon and tellurium.

Sherritt Technologies’ commercial plants are currently operating using our proprietary technologies which include the following core processes:

  • High pressure acid leaching (HPAL) of nickel laterite in Cuba, Philippines, Australia and Madagascar
  • Hydrogen reduction for the recovery of nickel and cobalt and for the production of specialty metal powders in Canada and Madagascar
  • Pressure oxidation of refractory gold ores and concentrates in USA, Brazil, PNG and Canada
  • Leaching of nickel-copper matte, including the concentration of platinum group metals (PGMs) in South Africa
  • Pressure leaching of zinc concentrates in Canada, Germany and Kazakhstan
  • Pressure leaching of copper concentrates in Chile

Recent process development studies have included pressure oxidation of copper concentrates, as well as pressure oxidation of copper-arsenic feeds to recover copper while fixing the arsenic as a stable residue.