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Leach-free gold processing on the horizon

Fri Sep 11 2020


Metallurgical testwork conducted in Western Australia has proven the performance of cyanide-free clean gold processing, Singapore-based Clean Earth Technologies has reported.


The tests were conducted at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) laboratories in Perth, using gold samples from ASX-listed Genesis Resource’s Plavica mine, in Macedonia.


The testwork returned an average 80% to 85% of gold from the ore samples, with most of the gold recovered within the first four hours.


“We are very pleased with the results. It further validates the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the process. This is a win for people and the environment as well as for resource owners around the world,” said Clean Earth Technologies CEO Kevin Fell.


The extraction process replaces conventional cyanide with a non-toxic reagent that dissolves fine gold out of ores. The solution has successfully undergone field trials at a pilot plant in Menzies, operated by Western Australian company Clean Mining, part of the Clean Earth Technologies.


Scalable for both large and small-scale operations, the new technology is suitable for greenfield mines as well as existing mining operations.


“We have been working hard to make it possible for miners to extract gold in a safe, sustainable, and financially viable way. The need is becoming critical as more countries ban cyanide and we are seeing more disasters as aging tailings dams fail and spill noxious waste into the environment,” Fell said.


“In most cases our technology produced similar results to cyanide and is no more expensive when you look at the end-to-end process. 


“When you combine Clean Mining’s recovery and dewatering solutions, you can significantly reduce the mining footprint and avoid the risk by replacing massive tailings dams with dry-stack tailings that can be safely stored and re-processed,” Fell said.