In South Africa, Braemore’s wholly-owned Braemore Platinum Smelters subsidiary has an exclusive licence agreement to use an innovative roasting process developed by Mintek. This process, the ConRoast process, will be used to recover platinum group metals from ores that are not amenable to processing by the conventional smelting methods used by the major platinum companies.
This opens the way for the exploitation of vast new tonnages of platinum-bearing ores, particularly by emerging mining companies. Some 26 emerging companies have platinum mining plans or developments in progress but, until now, have been constrained by their need to deliver comparatively small tonnages of chrome-rich concentrate for blending with those from the low-chrome Merensky reef for smelting by the majors.
A memorandum of understanding with emerging platinum miner, Tharisa Minerals, was signed towards the end of calendar 2007, and others are envisaged in the near future.
Braemore’s wholly-owned subsidiary (Braemore Platinum Smelters) has an exclusive license agreement to use the ConRoast smelting process developed by MINTEK.
The process will be used to recover platinum group metals (PGMs) as well as some base metals (nickel, cobalt and copper) from concentrates, which may be difficult to process using conventional smelting technology.
The ConRoast smelting process will unlock new resources which are traditionally difficult to process using conventional technology due to relatively high chrome content. An excess of 26 emerging platinum producers are in the process of studying, planning and developing new projects. Some of these projects have been constrained by the need to deliver relatively small tonnages of chrome rich concentrate for blending with concentrates from the 'low chrome' Merensky reef.
The ConRoast process removes sulphur from metal sulphide concentrates prior to smelting in a DC arc furnace that uses an iron alloy to capture PGMs, nickel, copper and cobalt.