September 5, 2023

STARK Resources: At the forefront of ore sorting technology

London, United Kingdom — STARK Resources offers the integration of trailblazing tech-based solutions to clients ranging from greenfield projects in remote bush or outback, to mature plant accretion in the heart of Tier 1 mining districts. It is a specialised, privately held engineering group, with a global mining footprint.

Charles Archer
 Independent analyst

STARK Resources: At the forefront of ore sorting technology

STARK Resources focuses on fast-tracked design and construction of mineral processing plants on a fixed price basis (EPC/LSTK) and specialises in delivering projects in developing countries and Tier-1 jurisdictions. This expertise bridges the understanding of in-ground ore deposits with tailored ore sorting technology solutions, ensuring a compelling and economically viable proposition across the entire mining value chain, from Greenfield exploration projects to active production mines.

This piece can only provide a brief overview of STARK’s strategy – but should help to bridge the gap between what the company has to offer and projects in need of a novel approach. Firstly, STARK serves three types of clients:

  • Smaller companies in need of a pilot plant to start bringing in revenue within months;
  • Mature operations looking to ameliorate already profitable operations; an
  • Clients that require amenability for ore sorting, taking into consideration ore body analysis.

Each client and their asset may or may not be suitable for STARK’s various technical solutions.

Who are STARK Resources?

STARK was founded in 2014 by a team of engineers with decades of experience. The company is led by CEO Geoffrey Madderson, COO Jaco Prinsloo, and CTO Fabian Riedel – whose names are well-known across the wider mining industry.

Executive management also includes Dian Heinrich Page, Group Commercial Director, alongside Mundus Smit, Group Financial Director, and Jean Flouhr, Rheinhardt Peens, and Willem-Daniel van Dyk as Managing Directors of Angola, Australia, and Namibia, respectively.

STARK may be new by mining standards, but it is staffed and managed by mining pedigree, many of whom have previously enjoyed careers across disciplines such as geology, engineering, mine engineering, mineral processing, construction, and original equipment manufacturing (OEM) at large-scale operators including TOMRA. Many companies have a core skillset and outsource auxiliary functions, but STARK’s diverse personnel base means it can rely on in-house skills in more areas.

Orebody analysis: First and foremost

A common thread throughout this piece is that STARK is different. Where larger engineering and engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) firms may install conventional equipment, STARK sticks to an unofficial motto – ‘start from the deposit’ – setting it apart from the competition. From there, its philosophy is to fully integrate ore sorting into mineral processing and mining flow sheets, unlike OEMs who might supply the ‘box’ solution. STARK will also find the unique recovery solution within its flowsheet model, integrating the sorter, including construction, to ensure optimal recovery is achieved as envisioned during asset test work.

There are dozens of considerations for the correct integration of ore sorting into a plant: ore characteristics, correct feed size; preparation and feed rates, sensor calibration, conveyer speed and tonnage, washing of the ore; optimal calibration and sensor setup, and belt occupancy with feed presentation to prevent masking effects – care to ensure every part of the plant is correctly adjusted. Since every deposit is different, ore bodies require different assessment techniques and different technical solutions.

STARK boasts a robust team of seasoned geologists and engineers, each possessing unique commodities experience within the mining value chain. Drawing from a deep understanding of the resource model and the ore body’s geological behaviour, STARK’s advisory team leverages a comprehensive gap analysis – encompassing geology, geotechnical engineering, mine planning and engineering, metallurgy, metallurgical test work, ore sorting tests, and mineral processing designs – to tailor recovery solutions.

By using existing resource and mining models, the company integrates ore body characterisation with mineral processing parameters to project the best recovery and extraction potential. STARK’s deposit-first ideology key points include:

Orebody assessment is time-consuming and complex. But it is critical for the team to make an informed decision concerning what tech should be used to develop an asset. Depending on the initial analysis, it may be that STARK’s tech is not suitable and traditional methods are the best way forward. It’s important to accept when to keep a plant as it is, and STARK will only proceed where there is a clear, measurable economic benefit to the client. While ore sorting can be an extremely effective solution, it cannot always replace traditional dense media separation (DMS). It’s usually the case that ore sorting in combination with DMS is the best approach.

To read the full article published in Innovation News Network, click here

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