The implementation of Draslovka’s technology can potentially unlock substantive savings and generate value for Barrick’s operations while improving their environmental footprint.
GlyCat will enable a major shift for the mining industry’s sustainability profile by substantive replacement of cyanide used in processing of gold ores with a non-toxic, food-grade reagent that is recyclable.
Draslovka a.s, a leading specialty chemicals company, has agreed with Barrick Gold Corporation (‘Barrick’), to roll out a global testing and implementation programme for Draslovka’s cutting-edge proprietary glycine gold leaching product, GlyCatTM (‘GlyCat’), across several mines. The implementation of Draslovka’s technology can potentially unlock substantive savings and generate value for Barrick’s operations while improving their environmental footprint.
GlyCat will enable a major shift for the mining industry’s sustainability profile by substantive replacement of cyanide used in processing of gold ores with a non-toxic, food-grade reagent that is recyclable. Depending on the type of ore, using GlyCat in existing leaching circuits allows for a 20% to 80% reduction in cyanide usage while reducing or entirely eliminating cyanide detoxification requirements. In select ores, the process also results in higher recoveries.
Supported by Draslovka’s industry-leading service, GlyCat can potentially achieve an average reduction in processing costs of 25%, rising to 50% for some more complex ores.
Barrick is the first major mining company to recognise the potential glycine leaching offers. The programme is an opportunity for GlyCat to be systematically rolled out at a global scale, starting at the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine in Tanzania and several other Barrick operations as a model for the wider mining industry.
Largescale test work programmes will be undertaken at each site to quantify the operating cost savings from the reduction of cyanide usage, potential improvements in gold recovery, and lowering of cut-off grades, all of which will allow operations to treat ore types that may have previously been uneconomic.
Commenting on the agreement, Draslovka’s CEO, Pavel Bruzek Jr, said:
“This agreement with Barrick marks an important milestone in Draslovka’s mission to improve the financial and environmental sustainability of mining operations worldwide. Mining is critical for the evolution of society toward lower emissions and the energy transition as a whole. GlyCat provides an innovative and sustainable solution to address concerns around supply.
This strategic partnership sets a new standard for best practice in the gold mining industry. I am excited to work together with Barrick, a global industry leader, on this exciting venture and am confident that others in the mining industry will follow suit to ensure a sustainable future.”
Simon Bottoms, Mineral Resource Management and Evaluation Executive at Barrick, added: “Rates of major gold and copper discoveries have been in steady decline over the last decade, which when combined with a rapidly evolving set of global challenges, is resulting in global supply challenges to meet the growing global demand for such critical metals. As a result it is imperative that the industry takes the necessary steps to maximise the value from existing mines that are already operational or currently under development.
At Barrick, optimising the geometallurgical understanding of our orebodies from both economic as well as environmental aspects is a key aspect of both our evaluation process and operating philosophy. Accordingly, we have established a partnership with Draslovka to continue to test the application of new technological innovations with the aim of delivering increased long-term value to all stakeholders from our operations and projects while also underlining our sustainability strategy which is our business plan.”
GlyCat is Draslovka’s patent-protected glycine leaching technology for the recovery of gold using a dual-lixiviant system of glycine and sodium cyanide. Glycine is a non-toxic, biodegradable and recyclable amino acid commonly used as a food additive. Tests have demonstrated that GlyCat enables significant operating cost savings from the reduction of cyanide, detoxification and other leaching reagents, potential improvements in gold recovery as well as reduction of waste and waste water treatment costs. It can enable the treatment of previously uneconomical ores.
About Glycine Leaching Technology
Glycine is a non-toxic chemical that is fully bio-degradable. As an example, it is used as a feed supplement in animals as well as therapeutically to reduce inflammation in humans. Glycine is a readily available chemical that is manufactured in large quantities in the USA, Germany, Japan, China, and India and finds its principal use in the formulation of herbicides, a food supplement, and nutrients. Glycine can leach gold as well as most of the nonferrous transition base metals, specifically copper, but also nickel, cobalt and zinc. The common manufacturing processes to obtain glycine is the combination of formaldehyde and ammonia along with hydrogen cyanide, a key Draslovka product. Another manufacturing method is to combine chloroacetic acid and ammonia.
About Draslovka Mining Solutions
The ambition of Draslovka’s Mining Solutions business is to unlock new opportunities by providing safer and more environmentally sustainable processes that fill the gaps in the global supply of precious and base metals.
In February 2022, Draslovka acquired Mining & Process Solutions (MPS), based in Australia, which owns the Glycine Leaching Technology IP and Know-How – through its products GlyLeachTM and GlyCatTM. This glycine leaching method offers a new and environmentally sustainable hydrometallurgical process to leach base and precious metal oxide, mixed oxide and sulphide ores.
This exciting technology has the potential to transform the leaching process as well as other upstream and downstream processes, and will be key for addressing the challenges the mining industry faces to source precious and critical metals.
The purchase of MPS followed two major acquisitions by Draslovka Mining Solutions in 2021: the US$520 million acquisition of Chemours’ mining solutions business and a US$95 million agreement to acquire Sasol’s sodium cyanide business, both of which cemented Draslovka’s position as a major global player in the industry. Draslovka’s Mining Solutions business is focused on the delivery of sustainable solutions for the mining sector at large.
About Barrick Gold
Barrick’s mission is to be the world’s most valued gold and copper mining business by finding, developing, and owning the best assets, with the best people, to deliver sustainable returns for our owners and partners.
Barrick is a sector-leading gold and copper producer, operating mines and projects in 18 countries in North and South America, Africa, Papua New Guinea and Saudi Arabia.
Barrick’s portfolio spans the world’s most prolific gold and copper districts and is focused on high-margin, long-life assets, with a highly diversified workforce drawn almost entirely from host nations and equipped with world-class skills.
The company’s shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GOLD, and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ABX.
Draslovka's proprietary Glycine Leaching Technology is the most environmentally sustainable and cost-effective way to produce precious metals and critical minerals yet. It utilizes Glycine, a non-toxic amino acid often used as a food additive or nutritional supplement in humans and animals.