HomeFeatures & AnalysisGekko Systems: Energy efficient metal recovery improvement specialist

Gekko Systems: Energy efficient metal recovery improvement specialist

Gekko Systems South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australia-based Gekko Systems, maximises recovery of metals while reducing capital expenditure and energy output.

With over 40 equipment installations successfully operating in Africa, Gekko Systems has and continues to achieve phenomenal success and has helped numerous mining companies improve and maximise their gold recovery.

“Our InLine Leach Reactors (ILRs) are well known and recognised on the African mining continent where we boast a substantial footprint,” says regional manager of sales and operations Africa, Gerhard Bezuidenhout.

“And because our equipment can be applied in most gold, silver and base metal operations, our focus and client base ranges from small-scale junior miners to the larger, well established mining houses,” continues Bezuidenhout.

Regional offices

Gekko Systems South Africa is one of many regional offices within Gekko Systems (whose head office is in Ballarat, Australia) which include Perth in Australia, Vancouver in Canada and Moscow in Russia.

“We have also appointed agents in Ghana and South America,” Bezuidenhout notes.

The South African office is fully supported from its Australian head office, but mainly manages all sales, technical queries, as well as installation, commissioning and after-sales services directly.

“Our value proposition is unique,” says Bezuidenhout. “Our equipment focuses on high efficiency metal recovery within a reduced plant footprint which equates to reduced capital expenditure and significantly lower energy requirements – all serious requirements from today’s mining industry.

“We also offer our clients metallurgical laboratory test work (in Australia) to ensure their ore type is amenable to our equipment and that we can deliver efficient and effective results once our equipment is installed and operating.”


Gekko’s easy-to-use ILR effectively leaches coarse gold (and silver) concentrates under intensive cyanide conditions. It is available as a completely automated batch model for processing small volume, high grade gravity concentrates from batch centrifugal concentrators, or as automated continuous units treating lower grade concentrates from flotation plants.

As an entirely closed circuit, it removes the possibility of theft (a security issue) and further to this also removes the need for shaking tables as well as the use of mercury (a health issue). The Continuous ILR can be used in conjunction with the Gekko Systems’ G-Rex technology, which upgrades low grade solution tenors by using resin ion-exchange equipment and technology.

The InLine Pressure Jig (IPJ) rapidly and efficiently pre-concentrates high-value ore particles using gravity separation. Improved plant capacity and lower operating costs are delivered by rejecting low-value gangue material prior to further processing which is becoming a very popular use for the machine and improves the recovery of the valuable metals.

IPJs are also used for pre-concentration in diamonds as well as a variety of base metals which in conjunction with Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) technology can be used to pre-concentrate complex sulphide ore types.

The high energy cost of fine grinding of large tonnages is reduced with the IPJ, which processes coarse feeds of up to 20 mm and by producing a higher grade, but lower tonnage product, downstream energy consumption is reduced and the size of downstream equipment is also reduced, reducing capital costs.

In conjunction with Gekko System’s InLine Spinner, the IPJ can deliver a clean high grade concentrate, Bezuidenhout adds.

IPJs, as with many other Gekko proprietary products, can be applied in single or as part of modular units, the benefits of which are multiple – reducing upfront capital, fast to design, build and install, ideal for satellite deposits and therefore easy to relocate. The Python modular design used at the TMAC Resources Hope Bay operation in Canada utilises virtually the full suite of Gekko equipment in one plant flowsheet to supply a complete gold recovery plant in a small footprint, with large energy savings and efficient processes.

“Outside of Gekko’s primary technologies, the company offers an extensive range of additional equipment also aimed at optimising metal recovery.

“Our MagScreen for example magnetically removes steel and metallic content from the stream of material delivered from the milling circuit which results in higher availabilities and recoveries from the gravity circuit,” Bezuidenhout notes. “We also designed our own electrowinning cell which is mainly geared towards silver recovery.”

The regional manager also provides some insight into new technologies which the company is planning to introduce to the mining industry which includes the Carbon Scout, which is a means of having an accurate ‘operator- free’ measurement of carbon inventories in carbon-in-leach (CIL) and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuits, with obvious operational benefits and geared to reduce solution losses.

The technology was developed by Perth’s Curtin University and functional units are installed at two  mine sites in Western Australia.

A new deal

Gekko Systems and Rockwell Automation in February this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop software solutions that will assist mining customers across the globe to account for metal content in the various stages of ore processing plants and provide the analytical capability to audit and improve operating performance.

Rockwell Automation and Gekko have worked together collaboratively for over 15 years and bring together Gekko’s deep knowledge and experience in mineral processing solutions and operations with Rockwell Automation’s global leadership in automation

The metallurgical accounting programme is in development and pilot stage.

A strong African footprint

Gekko Systems has a significant and widespread footprint of equipment installations, particularly within the gold sector in West Africa, but also stretching to north and central Africa as well.

The company’s active operating presence in West Africa includes Guinea, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

For more information contact:

Gekko Systems Africa – Gerhard Bezuidenhout gerhardb@gekkos.co.za


All images from Gekko Systems