There’s gold in them, there hills

February 3, 2011

The world’s rush for gold doesn’t seem likely to abate. Although primarily used as a store of value, gold has many modern industrial uses including dentistry and electronics – that means mobile phones and with four major regions of the world (Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East) and 40 countries (including India, Indonesia, and Nigeria) predicted to have more people with mobile network access rather than access to electricity at home, by 2015 – then the appetite for gold will continue and mining companies need to persist in bringing to production potentially lucrative projects.

That’s why it’s good news when our customer, Banro Corporation, recently announced its Namoya gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo could be exploited using heap-leaching gold recovery, after a revised scoping study found potential for 124,000oz/y of production.

Heap-leaching is a technique way beyond Van Walt’s sphere. It’s a process whereby the mined ore is crushed into small chunks and heaped on an impermeable pad where it is irrigated with a leach solution to dissolve the valuable metals. The solution then percolates through the heap and leaches out the precious minerals. This process can take several months to extract the gold and also involves collecting and carefully disposing of the leach solution.

What is interesting about the Namoya project is the exploration and development programmes that were completed which focused on soil sampling and trenching – the latter being right up our street. Our window sampling systems have proved ideal for this type of research as they provide virtually undisturbed samples of a soil for horizon evaluation. Call us on +44 1428 661 660 if you want more details.

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