Draslovka has executed a user license with Bayan Airag Exploration in Mongolia for the first use of its glycine gold leaching process, GlyCat, for a commercial heap leaching process. The technology is being applied to extract gold from ores mined from Bayan Airag’s Golden Hills and Limestone Ridge pits. Operating since 2014, the gold miner moves about 1 million metric tons (mt) of ore per year.

The decision to fully implement the technology on its heap leach operations was made following site-based testing and culminating in a 1,000-mt heap leach trial. The collaboration involved staff from Draslovka’s Perth-based mining innovation center and Bayan Airag site-based staff. The recent heap leach trial demonstrated higher recoveries than conventional cyanidation, with 78% overall gold recovery, according to Draslovka. This was achieved with a 65% reduction in cyanide and high recyclability of the glycine. Due to high cyanide unit costs, Draslovka projects that overall total reagent costs will be reduced by more than 70%.

“At Bayan Airag where we often have challenges in cyanide supply and costs, we saw the GlyCat process as an opportunity to reduce our reliance on cyanide and to use a much more eco-friendly alternative that provides sustainability to our Mongolian business and improved outcomes to the community in which we work,” said Peter Thompson, CEO of Bayan Airag. “It also gives us an advantage for when we encounter high levels of copper in our gold-silver ore. We are proud that the Bayan Airag mine is the first mine in Mongolia to use GlyCat and the first instance of commercial implementation of GlyCat in a heap leach anywhere in the world.”

In Mongolia, temperatures are regularly sub-zero making the trial and forward commercial application of the technology of interest to other cold climate applications globally.

“Working with the Bayan Airag team has been a fantastic collaboration and is an exciting milestone for Draslovka,” said Ivor Bryan, chief technology officer for Draslovka Mining Solutions. GlyCat’s use in heap leaching applications demonstrates equivalent or better recoveries and step change reduction in operating costs. This provides opportunities for our clients to extend mine life and convert uneconomic ores and wastes into viable metal production opportunities.”

A private holding company based in the Czech Republic, Draslovka is owned by four Czech families and has more than 100 years of experience in hydrogen cyanide (HCN) production and HCN chemistry.