How to set up an eco-friendly gold processing plant

When you’ve literally struck gold and are ready to start processing, it’s easy to turn to traditional methods to extract your gold from ore – but there is a better, safer and cost-effective solution. Learn how you can be eco-friendly in this article.

Traditional gold processing methods generally use the toxic chemicals cyanide or mercury as reagents to extract gold particles from ore, exposing miners and the environment to toxic waste and gases.

In contrast, Clean Mining offers an environmentally-sound gold processing technology that uses an inorganic compound, thiosulphate, in the place of toxic chemicals.

Unlike cyanide-based and other reagent methods traditionally used, such as the carbon-in-pulp or amalgamation method, the technology doesn’t require the addition of acids, lime, oxygen, chlorine, high temperature or pressure vessels.

It uses thiosulphate in conjunction with innovative plant technology to achieve gold extraction – at levels and returns that have been proven at an industrial scale.

A trial undertaken in 2017-18 achieved gold liberation at a p80 greater than 300 microns, with leach reagent consumption at 1.6 kg/t – the majority of this entrained loss with the tails.

However, if miners choose to include Clean Mining’s dewatering process option in their plant design, both the chemicals and water reclaimed from the leach tailings are recyclable.

With an estimated moisture content of between 8% to 15% in most dry stack leach tailings, that provides great potential for both thiosulphate compound and water recycling within each operation.

Importantly, the solution is also scalable and can support miners of various sizes and budgets. With the cost to invest in an entry level CiP/CiL plant upward of US$20 million, the solution potentially removes the cost barrier that prevents many miners from proceeding to production, as well as supporting small-scale artisanal miners and co-ops.

For miners keen to utilise the technology, the set-up process is simple and also eliminates the need for a hoard of specialist consultants and project managers.

Instead, Clean Mining can provide or facilitate the following steps:

  • ore profiling and gold recovery testing;
  • process flow sheet design and feasibility;
  • plant and process simulations;
  • licence approvals;
  • mine design;
  • eco-friendly plant design, build and supply;
  • plant installation, commissioning and training;
  • chemical supply;
  • process support and technical expertise;
  • maintenance, consumables and spare parts;

Clean Mining is committed to getting miners processing quickly, while also standing beside each client for the life of the mine. Once gold is liberated, the chemical process for each process is the same, so the solution can scale up or down to achieve feasibility.

That means, whether you’re starting out on your first processing operations or you’re a junior or mid-scale miner extending your operations, the Clean Mining solution can be more eco-friendly to adapt to the solution to suit your needs.

For more information contact Clean Mining.

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