Home > Biomin’s 3rd generation gold refractory design improving efficiency in the mining industry

Biomin’s 3rd generation gold refractory design improving efficiency in the mining industry


Biomin South Africa continues to improve its solutions for a more efficient mining industry with the development of its third generation BIOX design-based bio-oxidation gold refractory solution that offers a more robust and safer alternative to available refractory ore body extraction processes.

Biomin Managing Director, Jan van Niekerk comments that they continue to be encouraged by the positive results demonstrated by the BIOX bio-oxidation technology.

An increasingly popular technology among global gold producers, the BIOX process delivers benefits such as safe and easy operation with minimal staff requirement; continued ability to operate in both hot and cold climates; and low-cost and decreased environmental waste impact.

According to van Niekerk, the BIOX process is by far the safest and most efficient solution compared to other methods of refractory gold extraction to recover gold in an environment-friendly manner.

The BIOX plant at Pan African Resources’ Fairview mine in Barberton, South Africa has been a hugely successful operation for both Biomin and its client, maintaining a steady increase in gold production levels in line with the mine’s increased capacity.

Pan African Resources Metallurgy Manager at Barberton Mines Ltd’s Fairview Gold Mine, Jonathan Irons has been closely observing the evolution of the BIOX technology and agrees with van Niekerk that BIOX is a safer process than other refractory processing technologies.

He singles out ease of operation as a particularly attractive feature of the BIOX technology, when compared to other refractory treatment processes, since only basic technical skills are needed to operate the Biomin BIOX technology.

Irons likened the maintenance of the BIOX bacterial process to that of caring for any living organism. The bacteria used in the BIOX technology require simple nutrient additives; Irons says that as long as the bacteria receive the required nutrients and maintain a stable diet they will continue to thrive.

Fairview has also invested in Biomin’s ASTER water treatment technology, which uses patented bio-technology to destroy thyocianate and cyanide in water used in the gold extraction process. The technology has resulted in significant cost savings for the mine as well as a significantly decreased impact on the environment due to the lower levels of cyanide produced from the extraction process.

Irons recommends Biomin’s technology to other gold producers that are considering gold refractory processing options.

Stating that Barberton Mines Ltd’s Fairview Gold Mine is a good example of the successful implementation of the BIOX and ASTER technologies, Van Niekerk says he looks forward to the future relationship between Barberton Gold Mines and Biomin. 

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