Owing to changes in market conditions and a reduction in ore quality, the Tucano Gold Mine was unable to produce a viable product yield. Changes to the processing plant have since allowed the mine to resume operations, using a Carbon in Leach method of extraction instead of the original Heap Leach extraction. SG Controls were engaged to take over design of the process control system, then completed the on site installation, testing and commissioning. The plant has since been in continual operation and is expected to continue producing for over 10 years.


  • The Tucano Gold Mine is located approximately 200 km North-West of the Brazilian city of Macapa
  • The processing plant originally operated as a heap leach extraction process but a viable gold yield could not be reached
  • After Beadell acquired the mine in 2010, it was redesigned to operate a Carbon In Leach process and the mining operation resumed in late 2012


  • The designed nameplate throughput of the processing plant is 3.5MTPA dry ore
  • The plant is currently running at 4MTPA dry ore with 4.5MTPA targeted later in 2013

Scope of works

The redesigned plant required construction and commissioning of:

  • Primary jaw crusher and ore conveying
  • 7MW SAG Mill
  • 6 CIL tanks
  • Cyanide detoxification and tailings
  • Interface to existing elution plant and reagents areas
  • First gold poured in early December 2012
  • Full plant operation completed and production ramped up to above capacity early February 2013

Our involvement

SG Controls assumed responsibility for an Ausenco designed control system and completed the design FAT and commissioning of:

  • PLC communications interface to Ouotec SAG Mill
  • Ethernet network redesign to include existing PLC network
  • Programming of motor starters and VSDs
  • Process commissioning of plant
  • Plant optimization
  • Quality assurance inclusive of all testing and verifications
  • Interfaces to existing plant & equipment