Sunergy Inc. has announced that it has received further analytical results on its Pampana ( Sierra Leone , West Africa ) Heavy Mineral Sands. Using lower analytical detection units than previous tests at Currenta’s analytical laboratory in Leverkusen, Germany , we have discovered that the sands contain potential economic quantities of Silver, Platinum and Palladium, in addition to the known Gold and Rare Earth Elements.
This discovery warrants a more sophisticated initial process/separation treatment in what was previously thought to be an initial solution targeted at free gold. In addition to the free gold, there is substantial contained gold in the sands that require more advanced separation techniques. These new tests and results have been overseen by Alexander Beckmann, Advisory Board Member from Cologne, Germany.
Mr. Beckmann comments: “These results are some of the strongest that I am aware of for alluvial sands. I suspected that the PGM metals may exist but we had no support from the previous analytical work. Lowering the detection limits and requesting the specific PGM (Platinum Group Metals) tests allowed these and other precious metals (Silver) to reveal themselves. The quantitative results have ranged from 4 to the mid 100’s for Palladium, the mid 10’s for Platinum and 170 ppm for Gold except for Silver which is in the range of several hundred ppm (1 ppm = 1 gram/ ton). Analytical testing is ongoing and results will be published once enough material has been tested to give representative results.”
He continues, “It is my considered opinion that these PGM’s may exist in a fraction that we may have previously overlooked and discarded. I have proposed a four phase recovery and separation process that would certainly recover a higher percentage of these rare valuable metals. The first Phase is dedicated to the highest possible recovery of the gold, Silver and PGM’s which are readily marketable to create early cash flow. Phase 2 is dedicated to the Coltan minerals with their elements Tantalum and Niobium, which are also present and readily marketable. Phase 3 and 4 are dedicated to the enhancement of the remaining valuable strategic and rare earth elements, which once separated or concentrated, are also highly marketable.”
Beckmann remarks, “Because we have access to excellent analytical methods and existing processing equipment, I recommend that we conduct this process initially where we have adequate existing facilities. Once we have determined the highest and best methods for recovery and separation we will evaluate the feasibility of setting up a process facility near our Pampana operation.”
Bryan Miller , President comments: “Discovering these additional valuable metals in our already rich Heavy Mineral Sands has the potential to substantially increase and accelerate our early cash flow. We now believe we can increase the PGM content by retaining that portion of the sands we had until now discarded during the field concentration process. Our original focus was to recover the free gold as Phase 1, but we have now determined that the substantial contained gold, silver and PGMs will be in the initial target of our newly designed processing operation. Mr. Beckmann brings considerable expertise and practical knowledge of these metals to the Sunergy operation as noted below.”
Alexander Beckmann has 20 years’ experience in applied mineralogy, mining, extraction/mineral processing, processing of non-iron metals, process engineering and optimization, cost reduction of existing processes and material science. He has had project involvements in Africa , Asia , Australia , Europe , South America , and has been a consultant for major mining and smelting companies in Asia and South America . Beckmann founded Agricola in 2001, having invented and been granted patents for new processes for copper, precious metals and PGEs at the end of the ’90s. He also invented new processes for the de-arsenification of non iron concentrates (i.e. copper). He joined the Faculty of Applied Mineralogy at the University of Cologne in 2000, using this time to develop the technology further.
Prior to this, he spent several years as a prospector in Southern Africa . During this time he also worked on selective inductive microwave heating of minerals in order to change physical properties of minerals and elements for new process designs i.e. as a potential separation method. Following the completion of his Masters Degrees in Applied and Specific Mineralogy, Physical Metallurgy, Geology and Ore Mineralogy, Alexander joined the Deutsche Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR, German Aerospace and Aviation Centre) in the department of material science, before moving into a role as assistant to the Vice CEO, responsible for the areas of aviation, satellites, personnel, controlling & law. Beckmann also has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.
Dredging Today Staff, January 5, 2012; Image: sunergygold