The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 4 11 LEADING DEVELOPMENTS Australia's first cyanide-free gold produced with Eco Minerals Research using non-toxic extracon process for use in treaঞng gravity gold concentrates, parঞcularly those with high cyanide-soluble copper. CSIRO says that the 'Going for Gold' process requires some addiঞonal 'off-the-shelf' components and a new configuraঞon, but is not complex and can be customised to deal with different ore types. ECO MINERALS Eco Minerals Research, in collaboraঞon with CSIRO, are undertaking the world's first pilot project at Menzies in Western Australia to ensure and verify scalability of the alternaঞve technology to cyanide for gold recovery. The AUD$2.1 million demonstraঞon project was made possible through AUD$860,000 in funding from the Science and Industry Endowment fund (SIEF) and an Australian Government Innovaঞon Connecঞons grant, and will use ore from the tailings dump located in situ – approximately 70,000 tonnes with an average 1.75g/tonne and volume >1.3mt, with an esঞmated value of AUD$5.25m. "This process is targeঞng small high-grade deposits with good gold liberaঞon at a coarse grind size suitable for the gravity tails to be vat leached", said CSIRO Lead scienঞst, Paul Breuer. "Science enabling industry and environment to be partners not compeঞtors, exactly as envisioned in our market vision – turning commodiঞes into higher value, uniquely Australian products", CSIRO Chief Execuঞve Dr Larry Marshall said. "It has been accelerated through CSIRO's ON program, and could be a game-changer for small gold producers or those looking to get ahead of increasing market demand for greener commodiঞes. "Early industry trials like this are criঞcal to innovaঞon and go to the heart of CSIRO's mission to tackle big, real-world challenges and unlock a beer future for everyone." A tank leach process using this leach system is under development for demonstraঞon next year. According to Dr Breuer, this would have the potenঞal to open up the applicaঞon of the technology to a greater range of ore types and scalable for large projects. "The process is not commercially available, but we are looking for projects to further test and develop the process with the potenঞal for adopঞon." "The first gold is a major milestone in our progress towards becoming one of the world's first green gold producers", Eco Minerals Research Managing Director Paul Hanna said. "In close collaboraঞon with CSIRO, we have gone through the design, engineering and fabricaঞon stages and set up a processing facility in Menzies, delivering the first gold pour in just 10 months, which is a fantasঞc achievement." BARRICK GOLD The CSIRO research team behind the innovaঞon has already had commercial success with another tailored cyanide- free gold soluঞon developed with Barrick Gold specifically for their Goldstrike Mine in Nevada where it has been used for nearly four years to maintain producঞon rates. This tailored thiosulphate leaching process, which will not work for other ores, has enabled the Nevada mine to maintain producঞon despite the changing nature of the orebody being mined and is expected to contribute an average of 350,000 to 450,000 oz of gold a year over the first five full years. With the changing expectaঞons on operators, shi[ing economics and increasing demands for cleaner and greener producঞon, mining companies – large and small – may have to seriously consider the marriage of new and innovaঞve science with their daily operaঞons to remain economically sustainable. CSIRO's cyanide-free gold showcases non-toxic soluon

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