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Bacterial Leach

Bacterial leaching is a well established, proven method of treating refractory gold and base metal ores and concentrates in a heap, vat or column leaching setting. SGS has the expertise and the experience to be a leader in BIOX, GEOCOAT, BacTech and ACTIVOX leaching technologies.

SGS offers bench and pilot plant testing, audits and troubleshooting of bacterial leaching processes. Our expert testing services result in bankable, sustainable flowsheets that improve the bottom line of your processing operation.

Bacterial leaching offers a number of advantages over cyanide and other leaching processes including:

  • Suitability for refractory and low grade ores
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Safe, simple, proven technology
  • Bacterial oxidation takes place at ambient pressure and temperatures from 15 degrees Celsius and up
  • Suitability for jurisdictions where the use of cyanide is restricted

In bacterial leaching, certain strains of bacteria are used to liberate gold or base metals from their mineralogical host. They metabolize energy from the oxidation of ferrous iron and/or sulfur compounds and free gold or metals in the process. This can take place in a heap, vat or column of crushed or ground ore. 

To work effectively, parameters including bacterial strain, temperature, available oxygen, salinity, carbon dioxide and ferrous oxide nutrient must be established and controlled. Accurate testing of your ore and the development of a fit-for-purpose flowsheet is essential for the success of your full-scale bacterial leaching process. We work with you to develop and test the bacterial leaching process that best meets the needs of your site and the composition of your ore.

SGS provides globally respected, independent testing services world-class facilities, equipment and technical expertise to test a variety of oxidation processes including bacteria and other pressure and ambient leaching processes. 

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