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BIOX®

Reasons to select BIOX® include:

BIOX® Flow Sheet

BIOX Flow Sheet

With our refractory ore, gold is encapsulated in a sulfide matrix and additional processing is required to unlock the gold to allow its recovery by cyanidation. The process we have selected as being the most economic, environmentally sound, and simple to operate is the BIOX® bio-oxidation process, licensed to Golden Star by Biomin, a subsidiary of Goldfields Limited. At fully optimized production Bogoso/Prestea’s sulfide circuit operates at a design capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year of refractory sulfide ore into the crusher, equivalent to 34 tonnes per hour of concentrate through the BIOX® circuit. Overall recovery is estimated at 80%, resulting in annual gold production from the sulfide plant of between 200,000 and 235,000 ounces.

  1. Gold concentrate from the standard flotation circuit is pumped into the Stock Tank and mixed with nutrients.
  2. The mixture is transferred to the BIOX® stainless steel reactor tanks where the bacteria, with the help of oxygen, eat the sulfide minerals converting them to oxide minerals. Acid and heat are produced as a result of the process. The tanks are cooled to maintain the optimum temperature range.
  3. The oxide minerals and the acidic bacterial solution are separated by decantation in a three-stage Counter Current Decantation (CCD) circuit; the minerals are washed and thickened to remove the acid solution from the gold-bearing material.
  4. The waste acid is neutralized by the addition of lime, and then the bacterial solution is returned to the first reactor tanks.
  5. The washed material is transferred to the carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit. The cyanide solution dissolves the gold, which is subsequently precipitated onto activated carbon and later recovered in the elution circuit.

BIOX® Bacteria

The BIOX® process utilizes a combination of Acidithiobacillus ferro-oxidans, Acidithiobacillis thio-oxidans, and Leptospirillum ferro-oxidans. Among other places, these bacteria are found naturally occurring at the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. They feed on sulfurous materials, and in doing so, liberate the gold particles from the sulfide mineralization. Optimization of temperature (35 to 45 degrees Celsius) and pH (1.2 to 2.0) are the most important factors in keeping the bacteria active and vital.

Bio-oxidation Operations Worldwide

Plant Location Year Conc. Design
Capacity (tpd)

Fairview (GFL - BIOX®)

South Africa

1986

55

São Bento (GFL - BIOX®)

Brazil

1990 (closed)

150

Harbour Lights (GFL - BIOX®)

Australia

1991 (closed)

40

Wiluna (GFL - BIOX®)

Australia

1993

158

Ashanti (GFL - BIOX®)

Ghana

1994

960*

Youanmi (Bactech)

Australia

1995

120

Coricancha (Tamboraque) (GFL - BIOX®)

Peru

Reopening 2007

60

Beaconsfield (Bactech)

Australia

1999

67

Fosterville (GFL - BIOX®)

Australia

2005

200

Suzdal (GFL - BIOX®)

Kazakhstan

2005

175

Bogoso/Prestea (GFL - BIOX®)

Ghana

2007

825

Jinfeng (GFL - BIOX®)

China

2007

790

Kokpatas (GFL - BIOX®) Uzbekistan Mid-2008 est -
* - running at 75% capacity or 720 tpd