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copper|gold|mining|sustainable|technology|testing|products|solutions|environmental|operations

Cyanide-modest gold recovery with new tech

12th April 2024

     

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Sustainable technologies solutions provider Draslovka has progressed an existing partnership with copper and gold miner Barrick Gold Corporation with the start of commercial use of its glycine leaching technology (GLT) for gold GlyCat, at Barrick’s Bulyanhulu operation, in Tanzania.

In 2023, Barrick Gold rolled out a global testing and implementation programme with the goal of using GlyCat to unlock substantive savings and generate value for its operations while also improving its environmental footprint.

The GlyCat pilot programme, run at the Bulyanhulu gold mine, has led to an 80% reduction in cyanide consumption while achieving gold recoveries that are comparable to traditional cyanidation.

Draslovska and Barrick’s strategic partnership will also include a broader testing programme to be undertaken this year, that will span multiple mining sites.

Draslovka’s most important contribution to the sector is its GLT – the company’s proprietary technology that leaches metals, including gold, copper, nickel and cobalt, in a more sustainable and economic manner.

GLT uses glycine – a non-toxic, recyclable and biodegradable amino acid – that is commonly used as a food additive, to recover gold, copper, nickel and cobalt.

Further, GLT was inspired by nature when researchers at Curtin University, in Perth, Australia, observed plants absorbing gold and other metals out of the soil through the presence of glycine, which carries those metals through the soil and into the plant.

 

With GlyCat as part of the process, Bulyanhulu’s tailings show undetectable levels of weak-acid dissociable and are free of cyanide, thereby reducing detoxification requirements and costs.

Draslovka CEO Pavel Bruzek says the licensing agreement follows a successful pilot programme that proved the major benefits GlyCat offers to the gold mining industry.

GlyCat provides significant economic and sustainability benefits at a time when the future of mining is conditional on cost savings, sustainable operations and securing social licence to operate, he adds.

“I am confident others in the sector will soon see that GlyCat is revolutionary and its development will enable a major shift for the gold mining industry through massive economic and environmental benefits,” Bruzek says, noting that Barrick was the first major mining company to recognise the potential glycine leaching offers.

Barrick mineral resource management and evaluations executive Simon Bottoms adds that the application of GlyCat technology within operations has significant potential to deliver improved operational efficiencies and cost savings, while also improving Barrick’s environmental legacy.

He adds that GlyCat technology for gold, from the GLT family of products, dramatically reduces cyanide use while also lowering, or in some cases completely eliminating, detoxification measures. In select ores, the process also results in higher recoveries.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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