Sustainability and Clean tech in 2020 and beyond will be the focus as leading players in the global mining sector gather at the world’s biggest mining investment event—the Investing in African Mining Indaba.
In his keynote speech at the conference—which takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3rd – 6th February 2020—Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani is expected to set the agenda with a strong focus on the industry’s role in climate change and decarbonisation, as well as the future outlook for global mining.
Clean Earth Technologies’ solution for cleaner, safer and more responsible gold processing will be one of the key innovations featured at the event and an important breakthrough in the industry’s quest for sustainability.
Clean Mining, a part of the Clean Earth Technologies group, launched its cyanide-free gold processing solution in June 2019 following a decade of development and successful pilot operations undertaken in collaboration with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. While cyanide has been used in gold mining for more than a century, the toxic chemical presents major health and environmental risks, especially with regard to containment solutions.
Scalable, commercially viable and available to companies worldwide, the solution replaces cyanide with a safer, environmentally friendly and less hazardous reagent containing thiosulphate—a non-flammable, water-soluble compound that dissolves fine gold from ores. The compound can be recovered and reused, potentially eliminating the need for tailing dams.
Cyanide leaching is still widely used as the industry standard for gold ore processing despite having been banned in some parts of the US, Europe and South America for more than two decades. The clean alternative unlocks opportunities for mining operators to start new, responsible mining projects in these potentially ore-rich locations.
Clean Mining is also developing solutions to eliminate mercury from the extraction process. The same thiosulphate-based solution used to replace cyanide leaching can be applied to mercury, which is commonly used by artisanal and small-scale gold mining operators.
More than 6,000 delegates are expected to attend this year’s Mining Indaba.