Clean Mining Ltd, an Australian technology company, announced the world’s first breakthrough technology to eliminate the use of cyanide from gold ore processing at the 3rd Asia Pacific Precious Conference held in Singapore on June 10, 2019.
Traditionally, gold mining has depended on harsh chemicals such as cyanide and mercury to extract gold from ore. This has left our planet with a legacy of toxic waste which is harmful to health and the environment. The industry and leading research institutions had been trying to find such an alternative for over 50 years without success.
Clean Mining’s innovative ore processing technology represents an important scientific breakthrough that eliminates the use of cyanide in the treatment of precious metal ores, particularly gold.
Thus, it offers a new global gold standard which is cyanide-free ore processing.
The technology, developed by Australia’s premier research agency CSIRO, is suitable for all gold mining operations, regardless of size, scale and location.
Mr Paul Hanna, Founder and Chairman of Clean Mining Ltd, said: “I am pleased to announce that our solution replaces traditional toxic and lethal chemical agents for the extraction of gold. As a result of this innovative technology, the gold mining industry will enjoy better health, safety and wellbeing for mine employees and benefit the environment and local communities, worldwide.”
The solution uses a non-toxic reagent containing thiosulphate which replaces the toxic chemicals. This dissolves fine gold from ore into a solution. The gold is recovered by new innovative processes and the reagent can be reused. This process results in non-toxic tailings, with the potential to eliminate tailings dams as tailings can be repatriated after processing
(subject to local regulatory approval).
Using its innovative process, Clean Mining offers the following advantages:
* Eliminate the use of cyanide, acids and chlorides from gold leaching
* A non-toxic leaching reagent that is effective on a variety of ores
* Eliminate the need for tailings dams
* A gold recovery rate comparable to cyanide
* Simplified gold recovery processes
* Eliminate the need for activated carbon, sulphuric acid, oxygen and cyanide destruction
* Eliminate the risk of cyanide leakage into ground water and catastrophic tailings dam wall failure
* Reduce OHSE compliance costs by eliminating lethal chemicals and high volumes of corrosive acids
* Gives access to small and large miners a low-cost, scalable and mobile processing circuit
* Reduce mine processing plant and storage footprint
*Reduce rehabilitation costs at end of mine
*Provides simplified gold recovery process and producing premium certified Clean Gold™
Mines that use a cyanide-based plant require tailings dams to hold the tailings long enough for the cyanide to be destroyed. This is a very expensive process and the huge volume of toxic water poses a threat of leakage to soil and ground water.
Tailings dam walls can fail and cause catastrophic damage to local communities and the environment. Many countries have banned the use of cyanide because of this potential threat.
Clean Mining provides safe solutions to mining companies and the local communities.
Clean Mining technology package is more than just the gold leaching chemical reagent. It has the following:
*Several proprietary chemical formulations
*A proprietary process know-how of how to dissolve the gold in solution and recover it back to metallic gold
* Plant design to support the chemical formulations and processes
* Technical know-how to design and support the technology
The plant design offered by Clean Mining is unique in that it can be mobile, transportable and scalable. The package comes with existing ore crushing, grinding, milling and alluvial gold recovery circuits to provide prospective clients the option of a complete turn-key processing plant.
The plant design processes ore to the appropriate grind size that achieves the most feasible gold recovery based on the metallurgy, economics, infrastructure and regulatory requirements.
“The Clean Mining reagent does not have the toxicity of cyanide. It can eliminate the need for tailings dams by incorporating a dry tailings process into the plant design. Subject to local environmental approvals, Clean Mining plant can dry stack tailings and enable repatriation to appropriate locations,” said Mr Hanna.
Clean Mining also offers plant solutions for large scale miners that wish to convert to a non-cyanide solution, establish new large scale green field mines or recommence mining activities where cyanide has been banned.
All mining companies aspire to have higher levels of Environmental Social Governance (ESG). This reflects community expectations. The Clean Mining technology, brand and core values offer all mining companies the ability to deliver a higher standard of ESG.
Besides offering more than an innovative new mining technology, Clean Mining is also creating a new industry standard and a highly sought-after brand, Clean Gold™ to jewellers, consumers and the bullion market.
Clean Mining will refine the gold produced and offer it to the market as premium gold that is certified cyanide free. It will also track gold from the mine to the refiner to the jeweler or bullion market.
Consumers are now demanding gold that is produced in an ethical, responsible and environmentally friendly manner.
Only certified Clean Mining mine sites can produce Clean Gold and the gold offered to market via Clean Mining. Premium jewellery produced with certified Clean Gold will be identified by the Clean Mining leaf logo.
Several pieces of jewellery have been produced in Perth, Australia, and carry the logo.
Clean mining will license jewellery stores worldwide to carry its exclusive Clean Gold brand.
Clean Mining’s breakthrough processing technologies will be the new industry standard and Clean Gold is the new standard in bullion and consumer jewellery. Wearing gold jewellery made from Clean Gold™ is thus an ethical decision.