Cyanide-free gold processing technology hits the market
A new technology that delivers commercial-scale, cyanide-free gold processing has been released by Australian-based company Clean Mining.
The process replaces cyanide with a safer, less hazardous chemical reagent called thiosulphate. This inorganic compound helps dissolve fine gold out of ores into a solution, which can then be recovered through further processing.
The new technology was developed over more than a decade by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and trialed in Australia in 2018 with Clean Mining’s parent company – Eco Minerals Research Limited. This trial proved the thiosulphate solution could extract gold from ore at an industrial scale.
Following this Clean Mining negotiated exclusive rights to sell and distribute new cyanide-free gold processing technology worldwide.
Clean Mining’s managing director Jeff McCulloch said the deal now allows Clean Mining to launch the new technology solution and begin its global sales and distribution program.
“The world has been waiting for a cost-effective, non-toxic solution to gold processing and Clean Mining now offers that solution,” McCulloch said in a statement.
About 75% of gold extracted from ore is currently processed using cyanide or mercury, which are toxic to humans and the environment.
These chemicals are often contained in large storage tanks and, once used, expelled into large tailing dams that can potentially leach into the local surroundings.
“Eliminating cyanide and the associated tailing dams from the gold recovery process is a game-changer for the sector and, importantly, for the communities where gold miners operate,” Mr McCulloch said.
Clean Mining will initially target small to mid-scale miners who can benefit from the cost-effective leaching ore processing solution, which includes a plug-and-play plant that can be customized and scaled to meet individual needs.