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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Gold: Latest News: April 30th 2013


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:: Gold Fields Agrees to sell Refractory Gold Processing Solutions Business


Gold Fields, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, has agreed to sell its BIOX and ASTER refractory gold processing solutions to the management team that has, for almost two decades, been responsible for the development and implementation of these technologies to numerous mining companies on five continents.

Gold Fields developed BIOX in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, while ASTER has been developed internally over the last five years. The management team acquiring all the existing contracts, which are currently being used by 10 different gold mining companies globally, as well as all patents from Gold Fields, will structure the assets within a new company called Biomin South Africa.

The gold miner says that the full employee compliment of 11 people will transfer to Biomin and the team of well-qualified metallurgists and process engineers will continue providing services and support for the two proprietary technologies.

Although primarily known for its bioleaching expertise, Biomin has experience in a variety of other metallurgical processes, ranging from crushing and milling, tank cyanide leaching, carbon-in-pulp and carbon-in-leach adsorption systems, to electrowinning and smelting, gravity concentration, sulphide flotation as well as process control and optimisation. “This is an exciting new venture that is positioned to offer the same level of expertise and service to current clients of the BIOX and ASTER technologies. Our team is geared to demonstrate these technologies to numerous other mining entities, some of which have displayed strong interest and where pilot projects are already underway," said Biomin South Africa MD Jan van Niekerk.

Gold Fields’ Executive Vice President of Technical Services, Tim Rowland, commented, “Gold Fields is implementing major strategic change throughout the organisation and it was felt that the BIOX and ASTER technologies would best be served under a focused and experienced management team capable of further improving the process solutions that we have developed over the last two decades. “We are very pleased therefore that we have been able to conclude this transaction with the team that has all the experience in developing and operating these sustainable solutions around the world”.

Van Niekerk concluded, “With all the new refractory gold projects that we are currently involved in, various factors are becoming more and more important when decisions are made in terms of selecting the process technology to be used. Flexibility is becoming key, as is the turndown capacity or ease of expansion of the technology, and this is precisely where BIOX offers significant advantages over processes like roasting and pressure oxidation."




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