Dundee Sustainable Technologies Inc. ("DST") is pleased to announce that it has completed the construction of its industrial scale demonstration plant (the Demonstration Plant") located in Thetford Mines, Quebec. The Demonstration Plant has a capacity of 15 tonnes per day of concentrate in order to assess DST's cyanide-free process under continuous operating conditions.
This achievement represents a significant milestone in the development of this technology to provide the gold industry with a cost competitive and environmentally friendly alternative to cyanidation.
"Alongside these results, DST is also continuing discussions with strategic partners that are requesting DST to evaluate the application of its technology on targeted projects", stated John W. Mercer, CEO & President of DST. "Our focus in the short term remains the successful completion of the demonstration phase with our newly built plant. However, we are preparing in parallel the subsequent phase of our development by evaluating first class projects with metallic values DST's process could unlock in spite of environmental or metallurgical issues. The worldwide demand for a cyanide-free technology is enormous. The Demonstration Plant is the platform we needed to assess the full extent of the processes' capabilities" he added.
"Dundee Sustainable is the true reflection of the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit we support within the Dundee family of companies. DST has forged ahead with the firm belief its processes could be game changers in the gold mining industry. Without a doubt, the demonstration plant moves DST one step closer to achieving that goal and to setting a new standard for 'sustainable' mining in the industry", added David Goodman, President and CEO of Dundee Corporation.
DST will proceed with the commissioning of the Demonstration Plant in preparation for the operation phase in a matter of weeks. The first lot of material to be processed is a gold/copper sulphide concentrate that was already received from Bulgaria. This material will allow DST to demonstrate the amenability of its process to extract gold in the presence of copper on a material coming from a region where cyanide is banned. The operation of the plant is expected to begin in July and should be completed during the fourth quarter of the year.
About Dundee Sustainable Technologies, a company controlled by Dundee Corporation
DST is engaged in the development of technologies for the treatment of refractory ores containing sulfides and arsenic. Dundee Technologies has developed proprietary hydrometallurgical processes, and owns the related patents, for the extraction of precious and base metals from ores, concentrates and tailings, which cannot be extracted with conventional processes because of metallurgical issues or environmental considerations.
DST's patented approach provides a cyanide-free process to allow the exploitation of gold and other deposits that would otherwise face metallurgical issues with conventional methods. The primary benefits of the innovative technology are shorter processing times, a closed-loop operation eliminating the need for costly tailings pond, reduced environmental footprint related to inert and stable characteristics of the tailings, and lesser emissions due to lower energy consumption.
The process developed by DST is a recognized "green technology" for which it was awarded a $5.7 million grant towards the construction and operation of a $25 million demonstration plant. The completed commissioning of the demonstration plant is scheduled for the second quarter of 2015. With a capacity of 15 tonnes per day of concentrate, the demonstration plant will serve as a proof of concept for the chlorination extraction technology on an industrial scale and under continuous operating conditions.
DST has tested several different gold deposits, both oxide and sulfide ores at the lab level and at its pilot plant. These tests have, consistently achieved gold recoveries in excess of 90%, using chlorination instead of cyanide.