JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – GoldOre, a proudly South African private company founded by Adrian Singh 13 years ago, markets the worldwide patented and proprietary MACH Reactor technology that he invented.
A hydrodynamic cavitation reactor that generates picobubbles, MACH is used by the metallurgical industry to improve the recoveries of flotation and leaching processes, and to reduce the plant footprint and reagent consumptions, to lift profitability and sustainability.
“We do business everywhere, in Mexico, Kazakhstan, Türkiye, Ghana, Mozambique, and I'm really sad to say that 90% of it is outside of South Africa, believe it or not,” Singh commented to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
Foreign companies using MACH reportedly achieve financial benefit in the range of $200 000 to $500 000 a month. There are 15 companies that make use of MACH globally, only one of them in South Africa, a platinum group metals (PGMs) operation.
Test results at an emerging copper operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo are recording 6% and 8% recovery improvements.
Replacement of outdated technology can be in the national interest if more metals and minerals can be produced as a result of it, revenue from exports be increased, and tax payments be uplifted.
Singh cut his teeth in metallurgy and mining with Anglo American before deciding to launch GoldOre as the vehicle to market his worldwide patented MACH.
The tiny invisible picobubbles are crucial for the efficient recovery of fine to ultra-fine minerals that would otherwise be lost to tails in conventional flotation systems, in platinum group metals (PGMs) and copper concentrators, for example.
They also enable the dissolution of gas into pulp, improving metal leaching in gold plants, again by way of example.
As its underlying mechanism, MACH makes the power of cavitation and shockwaves available to the metallurgical industry and has shown a ten-year maintenance-free lifespan in the PGMs industry and gold sectors of mining, with application extending to base metal and industrial mineral recovery.
It also finds application in environmental remediation, such as cyanide destruction and arsenic precipitation, as well as water treatment industries, for the treatment of acid mine drainage, for example, which helps towards creating a cleaner future.
It is easy to retrofit onto existing plants and design has managed to reduce its power requirement dramatically over the years.
Smaller plant footprints, lower reagent consumptions and maximised recoveries lower environmental impact and reduce requirements to retreat tailings dams.
Mining Weekly: If you were there 120 years ago, perhaps we wouldn't have had any tailings dams.
Singh: Absolutely. I mean, that's very idealistic and philosophical, but yes, yes.
It would seem clear from so many aspects that South Africa needs to take a far more widespread and much closer look at this homegrown technology, which is helping so many outside of the country through its tried and tested metal recovery improvement pre-oxidation, boosted leach in gold and uranium plants, and the improved recovery of valuable fines in flotation applications.
Improved recovery of battery minerals, more specifically copper, is now also very much on the cards. When it comes to copper ore, the need for fewer passes with the MACH means smaller reactors amid GoldOre being able to build single reactors that can do up to 3 000 m3/hr, which points to MACH technology also being part of the solution for battery minerals. (Be sure to also watch attached Creamer Media video.)