MPS signs exclusive license for step change Glycine leaching process for copper and precious metals (2015)

MPS signs exclusive license for step change Glycine leaching process for copper and precious metals (2015)

MPS is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an exclusive licence to the GlyLeach™ Process. MPS rights cover Australasia, North and South America and Asia, with options to expand its license to other countries upon satisfying agreed criteria.

The GlyLeach™ Process is a novel leaching technology that was developed by Curtin University for leaching of base and precious metals. The process, is an alkaline based process that will leach copper from copper oxide, mixed oxide and supergene sulphide ores, and even primary copper sulphide ores. It will also leach gold when the temperature of the Glycine is raised to 60 degrees.

In signing the agreement, the process inventor, Professor Jacques Eksteen, from Curtin University’s Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering commented: “the process has a number of immediate applications including leaching of low grade ores, differentially leaching of copper and gold ores, upgrading concentrates, and tailings retreatment.”

The major reagent in the process is Glycine which is the simplest and cheapest of the amino acids, and is available in bulk ranging from food grade to technical grade. It has a number of attractive chemical and physical properties that gives it significant advantages over any other copper or gold Lixivant:

  • It is an environmentally safe and stable reagent. It is biodegradable and is easily metabolised in most living organisms;
  • It is active as a selective leach agent only when used in an alkaline based circuit between pH 8 and 12;
  • It provides a step change in copper leaching with enhanced solubility of copper ions in aqueous solutions and forms stable complexes with copper; The work undertaken by Professor Eksteen and Dr Elsayed Oraby at Curtin University has shown that it is a very effective leaching agent for almost all copper minerals apart from Chrysocolla, a copper silicate mineral;
  • It is easily recovered and recycled. Apart from normal process losses (usually expected to be less than 5%), +99% of the Glycine is recoverable.Both Glycine and Sodium Hydroxide (used to maintain alkaline conditions) are regenerative in the process so that reagent consumption is low.MPS Technical Director, Frank Trask observed that it is a simple process that requires no new equipment to be designed, has low operating costs due to regeneration of the principal reagents, and is expected to provide high copper recoveries with almost all copper minerals even Chalcopyrite; long considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of copper leaching. It will also offer the gold industry a non-toxic method of leaching gold, something that is becoming more important in many jurisdictions around the world.MPS, Managing Director, Ivor Bryan said the addition of the GlyLeach™ process was an important addition to the portfolio of technologies it has assembled and can support. MPS already has the exclusive agency rights in Australasia for Continuous Vat Leaching (CVL), a Canadian developed mechanical leaching process, and it is expected that the two technologies will be synergistic for a range of deposits. Both technologies can be supported by MPS at its facility located at CSIRO’s Australian Mineral Research Centre and agencies located in Canada and Chile.

For enquiries contact:

Ivor Bryan, Managing Director
Mining and Process Solutions (MPS) Ph: +61 419 801 145

Frank Trask, Technical Director Mining and Process Solutions (MPS)
Ph: +61 409 302 276