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Hydrometallurgical Process Equipment

The process equipment used in hydrometallurgical applications must operate in extremely harsh conditions. Most autoclaves, tanks and vessels rely on proven lining systems that can withstand an acidic mix of highly abrasive ore slurries, elevated operating temperature, and pressurized atmospheres. These types of environments during the extraction process cause multiple problems for most lining systems. However, Koch Knight’s lining systems consist of specially engineered and manufactured bricks, lining, and mortars that outperform and outlast other traditionally available systems. Our membrane and lining systems lead to increased production life and reduced downtime repair of your equipment.

As a global leader in the hydrometallurgical lining market, Koch Knight designs, manufactures and installs state-of-the-art lining systems. We continuously develop new materials and manufacturing techniques to ensure maximum reliability for our customers. Through our ongoing research and development program, we have developed unique products specifically designed for hydrometallurgical mining applications.

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Koch Knight prides itself in providing unmatched “user friendly” support to its clients for many years following completion of a project. Our ability to work with clients to resolve operational technical issues and provide ongoing cost-effective maintenance programs is greatly valued by our clients worldwide. This capability has proven crucial to Koch Knight’s success in maintaining its originally installed brick linings.

In addition to our lining expertise, we are able to provide a range of turn-key services including:

  • Field and shop installation services
  • Vessel supply
  • Associated titanium components such as compartmental wall baffles and nozzle inserts
  • Project management
  • Lining system design
  • Project management and experienced installation

Typical applications for Koch Knight products and services:

Pressure Oxidation (POX) Process

Finely ground refractory ore slurries feed into an autoclave. In the autoclave, the slurry will mix with oxygen and sulfuric acid as part of the metal recovery process. Once the processed ore goes through the autoclave, the material moves downstream to flash vessels to depressurize before heading through the neutralization tanks. The extreme abrasion, high pressure and elevated temperature makes acid-proof brick lined carbon steel autoclave and vessels the chosen material for this process.

  • Primary Equipment: Pre-heater Tanks, Autoclave, Flash Vessels, Neutralization Tanks, Secondary Containment and Surface Protection
  • Primary Extraction: Gold, Copper, Zinc and Molybdenum

Pressure Acid Leach (PAL) Process

Similar to POX, the prepared ore mixes with water prior to entering the leach vessel. The ore slurry mixed with sulfuric acid enters the pressure leach vessel containing sulfuric acid and is exposed to high temperature and steam pressure. The slurry pH, pressure, temperature, density, grind size of the ore and total retention time are important critical measurements in order to successfully extract metals from the ore. Once processed, the leach slurry depressurizes in flash vessels and continues to the neutralization process where it enters neutralizing and extraction tanks for further processing.

  • Primary equipment: Pressure Leach Tanks (PLS), Flash vessels, Neutralization tanks, Secondary containment and Surface protection
  • Primary extraction: Nickel

Ambient Acid Leach Process

Pulverized ore is mixed with acid-based leaching solution in large leach tanks. The metal is leached from the unwanted ore and suspended it in the solution. The leach solution is pumped to a recovery plant where the solution is then treated and the metals are removed.

  • Primary Equipment: Slurry Tanks, Secondary Containment and Surface Protection
  • Primary Extraction: Base Metals


Multiple types of vessels and equipment are used during the process of extracting metals from ore. Autoclaves and pressure leach vessels are the main processing equipment. Koch Knight offers not only the workhorse of processing equipment, but multiple processing circuit equipment such as:

  • Autoclave
  • Pressure Leach Vessels (PLS)
  • Pre-Heater Tanks
  • Flash Vessels
  • Neutralization Tanks
  • Blast Spools
  • Slurry Tanks
  • Secondary Containment
  • Surface Protection

Extraction Markets Served:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Zinc
  • Molybdenum
  • Magnesium
  • Uranium

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