Rising wealth fosters demand for technology and luxury products securing a lasting demand for gold. However, if you want to run a sustainable business, you need a more economically viable mean of extracting gold from existing reserves as well as from refractory, low-grade ores.
In the future, this is likely to change. We have developed Rapid Oxidative Leach (ROL), a pre-treatment process that has already generated interesting results in the copper industry and now has its own development track for refractory gold.
Your typical refractory ore contains tiny inclusions, or sub-microscopic gold, within a sulphide mineral matrix, requiring physical and chemical altering of the mineral matrix to liberate the gold for subsequent leaching. We see a great potential to unlock value in applying ROL to treat undeveloped gold deposits as it could make it feasible to extract gold from refractory low-grade ores.
Large gold deposits are becoming increasingly scarce, and new gold deposits are often found in remote areas and in fragile ecosystems. Tensions with local communities fearing contamination of water can make it time-consuming to obtain your license to operate.
Together with Goldcorp, we have developed EcoTailsthat blends filtered tailings with waste rock creating a high-density geotechnically stable product called GeoWaste. This makes dry-stacking possible even for large scale operations, and even in areas with high seismic activities. Furthermore, EcoTails enables recirculation of 90-95 per cent of your process water.
This saves you operational costs on your gold mine and reduces closure costs. It also makes it easier to obtain your social license to operate, as it reduces the risk of water contamination and tailings dam failure and thereby lessen your projects environmental impact.
FLSmidth provides sustainable productivity to the global mining and cement industries. We deliver market-leading engineering, equipment and service solutions that enable our customers to improve performance, drive down costs and reduce environmental impact. Our operations span the globe and we are close to 10,200 employees, present in more than 60 countries. In 2020, FLSmidth generated revenue of DKK 16.4 billion. MissionZero is our sustainability ambition towards zero emissions in mining and cement by 2030.