Moving on from the work and relationship between antimony and gold, the knowledge in this field has enabled the technology to treat Refractory Gold to be developed in parallel with antimony.
What is Refractory Gold?
This is gold in the ground ‘ore’ trapped in sulphide lattice structures that conventional processes are unable to unlock. The clean roasting technology developed for antimony has opened the treatment again of these world gold resources, estimated to be 30% – 50% of remaining gold in the ground. The second phase of the plant for Oman envisages a refractory gold roaster to the highest world standards that solves this problem efficiently and at low cost to provide a very valuable alternative processing route for the world’s gold resources trapped in this manner.
SPMP’s clean roasting technology, which is a two-step process consisting of a reduction roast followed by an oxidation roast, is confirmed as a viable technology for treating refractory gold ores;
The report’s preliminary economic assessment based on a representative suite of feed-stocks generates an estimated Net Present Value of close to US$1 billion and an Internal Rate of Return of 45%. This is based on a nominal 500,000tpa processing facility based in the Middle East producing 500,000 ounces of gold per annum;
A detailed comparative analysis of 39 selected gold projects either at advanced stages of development or nearing production highlighted major competitive advantages that the technology and facility could offer;
The clean roasting technology provides a process for refractory gold concentrates treatment which should be highly efficient and cost effective with distinct advantages over competing treatment processes combined with full environmental compliance.