PERU - In an attempt to eliminate the use of mercury by artisanal gold miners, a Peruvian engineer has patented a small, cheap to operate, cylindrical machine. According to reports, gold-bearing slurry and biodegradable chemicals are fed into the machine. With the aid of centrifugal motion, the gold rises to the surface on bubbles. The concentrate can then be smelted. The machine may be capable of collecting 95% as much gold compared to using mercury.
About 20% of the gold produced in Peru comes from artisanal operators. Widespread use of this new machine could significantly reduce mercury contamination to rivers and streams, thus avoiding costly health problems.
The market for "green" gold, that produced without toxic chemicals or societal upheaval, commands a 10% to 15% premium among eco-aware buyers.
Sources http://goldnews.BullionVault.com/user/Goldbug and others.
(Editor's note: I am familiar with both centrifuges in gravity circuits and flotation cells. Perhaps this is a practical application of a combined technology. - M.S.)