An Integrated Biotechnological Approach to Gold Processing
This paper reviews the state of the art in processing and extraction of gold. The ore bodies which were considered uneconomical at one time are becoming economical due to new and advanced methods of extraction. The paper discusses the gold treatment methods on free milling ores with conventional cyanidation and refractory ores with direct and pretreatment techniques for the recovery of high gold values.
In the extraction aspect, the paper discloses two different extraction schemes on treating refractory ores, namely pretreatment followed by gold leaching and direct leaching. Pretreatment process involving roasting chemical oxidation and bio-oxidation have been discussed. Direct leaching of gold ore processing such as heap leaching, carbon in pulp (CIP), carbon in leach (CIL) and resin in pulp (RIP) are summarized. This paper also dicloses in a detailed manner the research approach on the development of alternative leach reagents which could improve environmental concerns as compared to the use of cyanide.
Thus, according to MineSpans data, 54 percent of gold production from refractory deposits comes from mines situated in the bottom half of the cost curve, while only 18 percent sits in the fourth quartile (Exhibit 5). This high-grade effect is expected to remain in place at least until 2023, but grade erosion should dampen it over time.
In order to generate the most value from refractory gold ore cip extraction plant and prevent longer-term distress due to grade erosion, we see three main areas for action that miners should consider: