The cost-effective process replaces cyanide with a safer, less hazardous chemical reagent, 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. This trial showed that the thiosulphate solution could extract gold from ore at an industrial scale.
Following this success, gold clean mining negotiated exclusive rights to sell and distribute new cyanide-free gold processing technology worldwide.
Jeff McCulloch, managing director of Clean Mining, said the deal now allowed Clean Mining to launch the new technology solution and begin its global sales and distribution program.
Currently, around 75% of gold extracted from ore is 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 even breach.
Clean Mining also offers a solution for large-scale gold miners using cyanide that aspire for greater levels of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards," explained McCulloch. "Our technology enables all miners to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals, which – put simply – is ‘the right thing to do