India’s Hindustan Zinc and Runaya Green Tech have signed a memorandum of understanding with Toronto-listed EnviroGold Global to assess EnviroGold’s waste metal recovery process.
Microcap EnviroGold will initially aim to recover silver and zinc from jarosite and jarofix waste material from various Hindustan Zinc sites at a laboratory near Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.
The Indian metals major has an estimated seven million tonnes of the wastes stockpiled at its sites and produces about 500,000t a year of jarosite at its zinc refineries.
“EnviroGold Global expects that a modification to the current process that is being tested in the ALS laboratory in Perth [Western Australia] will be amenable to the recovery of these metals,” EnviroGold said.
It had received the waste materials for the initial testing and expected it would take up to three months to complete.
“This is a significant milestone for the further validation of the EnviroGold Global process with recognition of the team’s work by a large international mining company,” CEO Mark Thorpe said.
“We are in discussions with other large international mining companies with assets in North America and Australia.”
EnviroGold says it is targeting more than US$1.1 trillion worth of unrecovered metal in waste material from volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) ore processing with its weak acid leach technology.
“Until now, the mining industry has used extreme heat, high pressure, long acid exposure, ultrafine grinding, and specialised large-footprint plants to access these resources,” it says. “Such methods are expensive, and consume large amounts of energy, making many refractory ore projects uneconomical.
“The waste generated from pyritic ores is also potentially acid-forming and a liability for companies’ balance sheets, the environment, and communities.”
EnviroGold’s process operates at atmospheric pressure, relatively low temperature using an exothermic reaction, with a one-hour residency time. It recycles acid.
The company’s share price is down more than 5% year-to-date at C18c, capitalising it at circa-$35 million.