Kevin Fell, Group CEO of Clean Earth Technologies, was interviewed by Singapore-based business consulting firm SE Asia Consulting (SEAC) on industry-changing solutions being advanced by the company. The full interview, which was published on 10 July 2020, can be accessed via this link. The following is a reproduced summary of the interview.
Clean Earth Technologies (CET) has made it its mission to enable a clean approach to tap the earth’s richness. The company is advancing research and development into solutions that remediate oil spills, regulate fertiliser release, as well as manage and recycle e-waste. Clean Mining, part of the Clean Earth Technologies group, also offers mining operators a non-toxic gold recovery reagent which is both mercury-free and cyanide-free, and an optional de-watering process that can rid mining operations of the need to construct potentially dangerous tailings dams.
CET was formed in 2019, and has at its helm Chairman Paul Hanna, Group CEO Kevin Fell, Head of Sales Paul Kelly, and CTO Mark Fowler. The company has also worked with research partners Flinders University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop industry-changing solutions for use in various industries.
The first solution that CET is bringing to the market is the Clean Mining reagent, which gives the extractive industry a clean alternative to toxic cyanide and mercury. Interest from operators of larger mining projects has been positive, and this is especially the case for new developments in regions where cyanide is either banned outright or a preference has been indicated to review other cyanide-free options. The response-to-date has exceeded expectations, and while there are differences in ore types, the performance of Clean Mining’s solution appears to be generally on par, if not better, with that of cyanide.
A simplistic direct cost comparison does not tell the full picture as there are additional liabilities incurred from mitigating environmental impacts and government approval processes. Other cost-accretive components include expenditure from tailings dams erection and maintenance, operational health and safety, risk management, and mining rehabilitation. After factoring in all these considerations, it is evident to many mining operators that Clean Mining’s solution presents a compelling choice for their operations.
As for small and medium-scale projects, as well as those in the artisanal gold mining sector, there is great potential in modularising the processes and these can be dispatched from centralised processing hubs. CET is in the process of fine-tuning this scalable solution to guarantee maximum efficiency for all types of mining operations.
CET’s non-toxic gold recovery reagent has received over 600 initial queries in the past few months. Projects, such as the the initial plant in Menzies which is currently being revamped to accommodate further advancements in CET’s tank leaching process, as well as the collaboration with NuFortune Gold in Bullfinch, are underway and the company has further plans to construct “CleanGold” processing hubs in Leonora and the Eastern Goldfields in Western Australia. CET has about 14 global projects in various stages of the ore validation and testing phase, and a number of these are progressing into early stage design and approval.
CET’s mercury remediation technology is also expected to be commercialised in the foreseeable future. The removal of mercury and the extraction of precious metals left in waste is expected to complement the company’s tailings processing and remediation strategy.