A carbon neutral mine situated in the highlands of Nepal has been made possible thanks to the revolutionary Python underground processing technology from Gekko Systems and a diverse consortium of companies with world-class expertise in their individual fields.
Gekko Systems is proud to announce the final funding approval of the world’s first carbon-neutral mine.
The deposit known as Yunong Qian is situated in the highlands of Nepal on the southern upland slopes of Baishan, in the shadow of Mt Everest. Due to the environmental sensitivity and remoteness of the location, transportation of fuel and mining supplies is severely restricted.
Though first discovered in 1935, the resource has not been developed further due to the political climate as well as the Nepalese government’s strict development and environmental guidelines.
Gekko Systems was approached by Cheng Woo Alpine Prospecting NL in 2010 to assess the application of its revolutionary Python underground processing technology to the deposit. Extensive metallurgical testwork showed the ore responded extremely well to the progressive crush, liberation and gravity route with over 99% of valuable minerals being recovered in only three passes.
The Python technology reduced the energy requirements to a fraction of conventional processing technologies.
Keeping with the Nepalese government’s strict guidelines for zero visual and environmental impact, the Python will operate underground with waste material being retained in natural underground fissures, so there will be no above ground evidence of mining activity. The heart of the Python process is the effectiveness of Gekko Systems’ InLine Pressure Jig in recovering heavy valuable minerals without the use of chemicals as well as minimal water use.
Since the mountainous terrain is particularly sensitive to vibration and shock, ruling out conventional drill and blast techniques, the expertise of Warf Tunnelling Corporation in rock cutting and continuous mining has been added to the venture.
The remoteness of the site has been turned by the consortium members into an opportunity to design a truly integrated mine capable of producing all the required wear parts within its underground workshops.
In keeping with the overall carbon neutral development philosophy, there is no fuel delivery to site and all equipment is electrically powered. In addition to maintaining a clean and emission-free atmosphere within the underground mines and workshops, there is no vibration or motor noise to disturb the environment or endanger climbers on the nearby Mt Everest.
The problem of a reliable and cheap power source has been addressed with the entry of Poseidon Underwater Salvaging into the consortium. Poseidon Underwater Salvaging used their state-of-the-art salvage vessel, the Nautilus to recover the nuclear reactor from the sunken Soviet-era submarine, The Red October. Fuel for the reactor will be provided by a second smaller Python mining the uranium rich P-shoot of the ore body.
To minimise air travel, the consortium has decided to build a self-reliant community of workers and their families around the mine with employment opportunities and education facilities provided for all. Neighbourhood based underground vegetable and mushroom farms will be tended by all and fertilised using domestic waste to complete the food chain. Yaks will be raised for milk, wool, meat and fat to lubricate the mining machinery.
Gekko Systems specialises in the design, development and distribution of innovative mineral processing equipment and systems with a particular focus on gravity separation systems for the mining industry.