login register unsubscribe from alerts spacer
      
Water Today Title May 30, 2024
HOMEspacer | ABOUT spacer | ADVISORY INFO spacer | POTABLE WATER HAULERS spacer | WT FREE SMS WATER ALERTS spacer SIGN-UPspacer | LOGIN spacer | UNSUBSCRIBE spacer     WT INTERNATIONAL spacer     

     WT     Canada    Mexico    USA: New York    Georgia    Louisiana    Ohio    





EXTRACTION OF GOLD AND RARE EARTH ELEMENTS WITHOUT USE OF CHEMICAL AGENTS

Green Mining SRLís water-wise mining operations in Argentina, also enables the local community to share in the profits

Interview with Edoardo Ghirelli, Green Mining SR
Article has been edited for clarity and length

WT: Welcome, thanks for doing this. I would just ask Edoardo to introduce himself and his organization before I ask the next question.

Edoardo Ghirelli: I am the Geologist responsible for the sustainable and responsible management of the natural resources of Green Mining, I am speaking about the project to extract gold and rare earth elements. Connected with me (on the call) is Mr. Donato Pescatore, one of the main partners of Green Mining.

We are a joint venture mining company, we could say a bridge between Italy and Argentina. We are mining a concession "Aluvion Royo I" located on the border between Argentina and Chile. The main point of our organization, of our project, is that we extract gold and other critical metals and rare earth elements, just processing sediment. We extract these types of minerals without any use of chemical agents, so without the implementation of mercury or cyanide. We take advantage of the natural properties of the sediments to separate the minerals of our interest from the by-product.

The production chain that we implement in our mining operations its totally sustainable in terms of a different mentality in the mining industry because we could say our project is the result of a socially inclusive and environmentally efficient mining operation.

We are totally socially open to the local community; we already informed them of our campaign, and we want to share the benefits in the project with the local community. So, the prospecting and exploration campaign is set to compensate the local area and to share benefit and business opportunities, this is the general way of our project.

WT: This is a joint project between Italy and Argentina, and you are doing sustainable gold mining. Tell me how this process of sustainable gold mining is different from normal gold mining?

Guirelli:
Yes, the opportunity to learn about our project is on our website†Green Mining SRL†you will find a description of our pilot production plant (designed) to extract gold without any use of chemicals. The production chain is very simple but very effective in terms of environmental impact. As I said we donít use chemical agents; we donít use a large amount of water. If we do use water, we will reuse the water at some point in the production chain, this is a small example of circular energy in our production chain.

How this works in our production plant, the first step is to process the sediment with the primary and secondary crushing of the minerals. The second step, which is the main and critical step is the magnetic process, to separate two main classes of concentrate: the diamagnetic concentrate, that is the one that includes gold and the the paramagnetic concentrate, this is the one that contains rare earth elements and other type of critical metals.

Back to the production line of gold, the diamagnetic concentrate is subjected to another stage and type of processing, that is the gravimetric processing. We implemented a physical separation, with the spiral concentrator, the gravimeter with the shaking table we can recover and separate the heavy minerals from the light minerals. In general terms, the light minerals are not the economic value minerals. The heavy minerals are the economic value minerals, meaning gold and other elements. The work of the shaking table is to recover the heavy metals, we then refine to increase the mineral concentration of gold in our final product. ready to be marketed.

During the final stage of the rare earth element concentrate process, the electromagnetic separator purifies the paramagnetic concentrate to get a further concentration of rare earth elements, this is the by-product of our primary (gold) production chain.

This is the first step for the trial mining test toward industrial production. We do this pilot for two reasons. The first reason is to evaluate and assess how to design the pilot plant the correct way, relative to the chemical and physical properties of our minerals. The second step is to (test) how we can integrate the local community through the production chain, for sharing the social and economic benefits of the project.

WT: Are these tests happening now, or are they done?

Guirelli:†We are open now, we are implementing our machinery for the plant at the mine site.

WT: Where is the financing coming from for the testing, from selling the gold? Is government paying for this? Who is paying for this?

Guirelli:†Until now, we got our economic initiative internally, from Green Mining SRL company, but we are open to (taking on) some partners. We were at the Prospectors and Developers (PDAC) conference in Toronto last month to share our mining mentality, looking for partners that could join in our mission to create a mineral production chain distinctive from the classical industry. This is the point of our project.

WT: What was the response when you said you were going after sustainable mining?

Guirelli:† We received great feedback from the mining industry in Toronto, as another way to do mining. We also wanted to elevate the profile of our environmental and social responsibility.

WT: Were the other miners interested?

Guirelli: We had opportunity to open some interesting tables for conversation, we have received some feedback, some evaluation for participation from (prospective) partners. We want to create some different (perspectives). We don't just want to stop at mining activity, we want to go beyond.

In Italy, Green Mining SRL company has developed technology to refine rare earth elements in a sustainable way. We have a pilot plant already tested we achieve some great results in terms of sustainable emissions in atmosphere, very close to net zero (emissions). We have achieved a high degree of recycling in chemical agents. We achieve great recycling of the water in the process, this is our production chain. We want to industrialize this pilot plant, this is our point, not just mining.

WT: How many people are involved?

Guirelli: In Canada the team is 6 or 7 people, the Green Mining SRL is 10 to 15 in Italy. We have Jr. geologists, chemist. The Italian agency for sustainable energy is engaged with us, the public agency for energy is in partnership with us to develop the pilot plant.

WT: How do people learn about this? How you reach out to other miners around the world who might want to know what you are doing?

Guirelli:†It is not easy; we are not a well-known company. PDAC was good to put us in the heart of the mining industry. We have an important project. Why? In 2010 until 2017, my family was involved to be certified for production of ethical gold in 2010, we were the first to be certified for ethical gold production. We wanted to display this know-how in Argentina. We know that ethical sustainable mining can change the life of the people, it is not just economic.

For us, it is a mission. We know the mine site could be a productive source of life, to transform the local community impact in opportunities to grow the social and economic benefits. I know that it is possible to do that. It takes time. We already work with the local community, we want to share the benefit of the project. In ten years of activity the company has compensated $2 million dollars toward the hospital, schools.

WT: That is a bright path for mining, where communities are not left with tailings ponds after the price drops and companies move out. If it is possible to mine without harm to the water, we should be doing that. Thank you for this.

Green Mining's mission is to contribute to environmentally responsible mining development, within a framework of policies that respond to principles of efficiency and transparency to identify, quantify, and evaluate environmental variables, promoting continuous improvement in our operations.









  • WT SECTIONS

    Latest Features   Rez Water   WT Tech   WT Space   City Water



    Have a question? Give us a call 613-501-0175

  • All rights reserved 2024 - WATERTODAY - This material may not be reproduced in whole or in part and may not be distributed,
    publicly performed, proxy cached or otherwise used, except with express permission.