Signs Contract For Further IXOS Mining Technology Trials
Rio2 Limited(TSXV:RIO) (OTCQX: RIOFF) (BVL: RIO) and Sixth Wave Innovations Inc.have signed a contract which provides for the continuation of testing of SIXW’s patented IXOS purification polymer at Rio2’s Fenix Gold Project in Chile using Rio2’s nearby Lince Infrastructure facilities.
The Contract follows successful completion of testing done on representative samples of ore from Rio2’s Fenix Gold Project at Sixth Wave’s Salt Lake City, Utah facility undertaken pursuant to the non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) entered into between Sixth Wave and Rio2 in September 2020.
The move to near-site testing represents a significant step forward, and investment by the two companies, in the trial test project.
Under the terms of the LOI, Rio2 sent representative ore samples from its Fenix Gold Project to Sixth Wave for testing and analysis. The testing confirmed that IXOS Mining Technology outperformed activated carbon on several key metrics including gold adsorption efficiency, ease of elution, and overall adsorption kinetics. A comprehensive costs/benefit analysis was performed using the data obtained in the laboratory testing along with ongoing testing performed by Rio2 on activated carbon as part of their pilot operations.
The analysis also detailed the expected plant size, potential CAPEX and OPEX savings, and expansion capability/pathways. IXOS polymer is reusable and the potential for favourable usage life over activated carbon especially with scaling agents in the mine’s water source provided sufficient encouragement that the project should proceed to the next phase of test work.
Sixth Wave will perform recovery tests from leach solution using its IXOS Mining Technology and the leaching columns already commissioned and utilized by Rio2 to evaluate adsorption kinetics and other parameters.
Testing is expected to start in Q4 2021, post winter months, assuming that current COVID-19 restrictions in Chile will abate. The testing will include 50 days of on-site operation of the system under a variety of testing scenarios to validate IXOS performance and determine additional details regarding the cost/benefit analysis. Tests with a parallel set of activated carbon columns will allow for direct comparison between the two adsorbents under common testing conditions.
Potential positive environmental impact and reduced carbon footprint (CO2 emissions) of using IXOS over activated carbon for the process plant will also be explored during this phase of the project.
The IXOS Mining Technology operates at significantly reduced power consumption with fewer reagents than activated carbon. Therefore, opportunities exist for enhancing Rio2’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) posture should IXOS® Mining Technology continue to show advantages in overall process efficiency.
Consistent with the terms of the LOI, Rio2 will pay travel expenses, external test work, and the operation of the pilot equipment during the test.
The SIXW team will be led by Mr. Nicol Newton, Sixth Wave’s Director of Technical Services and a 20 year gold mining veteran. Mr. Newton will be accompanied by Dr. Glen Southard, one of the inventors and developers of IXOS Mining Technology. Sixth Wave will provide in-kind labour to support testing and analysis and all of the testing apparatus/pilot equipment for use during the project. The field kit will be returned to SIXW upon completion of the pilot.
Upon successful completion and receipt of positive results from the column test pilot program, the companies will move to a second near site testing phase incorporating the IXOS Mining Technology into a long term pilot plant that will operate alongside the currently planned carbon adsorption circuit.
This will provide long-term operational data including the determination of the useful life of the IXOS polymer beads, and specifications for full-scale implementation pegged to the mine operation and potential future mine expansion plans.
“Rio2 is always looking to embrace and trial new technology with the objective of bringing enhanced value to our stakeholders through the reduced capex/opex opportunities that innovative technologies may bring. The Fenix Gold Project is currently the largest undeveloped gold heap leach project in the Americas and we look forward to working alongside Sixth Wave during the development phase of the project,” Rio2 President and CEO, Alex Black, said.
For further information please visit: https://www.rio2.com/