Sargon Engineering


Sargon Engineering is experienced in the management of metallurgical testing programs, and in the process development and simulation of iron ore processing plants for DSO and beneficiable ores, including magnetite, haematite, itabirite and siderite.

At Sargon Engineering we add considerable value to our clients’ iron ore projects. We do this in a number of ways:

  • interpreting haematite and magnetite beneficiation test-work;
  • defining process flowsheets appropriate to the ore grade and project paramaeters;
  • producing mass balances based on comminution and beneficiation operational modeling of iron ore circuits; and
  • generating precise capital and operating cost estimates.

As a result we are able to estimate the consumable requirements, which include power, media consumption and water consumption, the volume of tailings produced and equipment capacity requirements.

Testwork Management

The coordination of an ore testwork programme is an important precursor to engineering work; something Sargon Engineering is well equipped to manage. Sargon Engineering has a positive working relationship with numerous Perth-based testing laboratories, and is able to provide ready advice and interpretations to their clients, once the laboratory has presented its results and determinations.

PFS Workflow

Sargon Engineering’s workflow for an iron ore project at prefeasibility level can be summarised as follows:


Sargon Engineering takes ore samples received from the client and formulates a mineralogical and metallurgical testwork programme. Sargon Engineering provides a supervision service as testwork is carried out. Once complete, and key data is known about the ore, Sargon Engineering presents results and initial interpretations to the client.


SE takes the testwork data and plant throughput capacity as inputs and, with client collaboration, prepares a basic flowsheet for ore beneficiation. This preliminary flowsheet is rationalised further by factoring in environmental requirements, capital return, market risks, operating costs and other design parameters.


With the process fundamentals established, Sargon Engineering proceeds to the definition of an engineering scope and WBS.


A Design Criteria document is prepared to define the parameters of the project. Design Criteria are continually rechecked as the project progresses, in order to ensure that the process parameters have been adhered to.


A process simulation model is developed using either METSIM or SysCAD software. These programs have specialist comminution unit operations that calculate equipment sizing (dimensions, power draw, flow rate, settings, etc.) and prepare particle size distributions through the circuit.


Should the client wish to reduce contingencies associated with plant infrastructure, ie. inventory (stockpiling), materials handling, supply of reagents and consumables, etc., a batch process model is developed using ExtendSim software.


A Mass Balance spreadsheet and a set of Process Flow Diagrams are prepared, showing pertinent stream data.


Once all results are tabled and reconciled in the Design Criteria document, an Equipment List is prepared containing sizing information for each item of equipment.


Sizing data is input to SE’s cost database, and/or issued to vendors where required, then costs are collated to form an installed cost of process equipment.  Other direct and indirect costs are added and/or factored to form the Capital Cost Estimate.


An operating cost is calculated by estimating the power requirements, product transport (eg. slurry pipeline), waste disposal, reagent and consumable consumption rates, equipment maintenance, manning, and so on. Costs are presented as an annual figure, per tonne of feed, and per tonne of product.


Accompanying the aforementioned set of deliverables are:

  • Plant/infrastructure general layouts
  • Simplified electrical diagrams
  • Motor list
  • Water balance and energy balance
  • Mass split diagram
  • Org chart


A final report which includes a summary of all work and project deliverables is submitted to the client for review. The report is then updated with client review comments and resubmitted, marking the completion of the PFS

Other Approaches

The client may wish to engage SE for process engineering case studies, which may only require specific components of the aformentioned workflow. For example, optimising yields between DSO and beneficiated ore as a function of crushing equipment selection; optimising capital vs operating costs for a magnetic separation and flotation circuit, etc.

Examples of Work

Magnetite ore crushing circuit screenshot:

Hematite ore milling & gravity circuit screenshot:

>> Download an example Primary Crushing Flowsheet
>> Download an example Secondary Crushing Flowsheet

Project Experience

Project experience in iron-ore is as follows:

>> PFS for Western Desert Resources’ Roper Bar hematite beneficiation project, Phase I
>> PFS for Western Desert Resources’ Roper Bar hematite beneficiation project, Phase II
>> Iron Road Central Eyre Iron Project Metallurgical Review
Concept study for a magnetite beneficiation plant with a pelletising plant (confidential client)