“We had a desire to find a way to only be spending money to process the rock that had gold in it,” explains Fred Earnest, President and CEO of Vista Gold. “We started looking for ways that we could get rid of the non-mineralised host rock prior to the grinding circuit. The company looked at different technologies to address the issues at the Mt Todd project and contacted TOMRA Sorting Mining to find out about its sensor-based sorting technology.”
The proof is in the testing: first-hand experience of TOMRA’s technology makes the case
TOMRA invited the Vista Gold team to visit their testing facility in Germany with a sample from the project to see first-hand what could be achieved. The test was an eye opener for Fred Earnest: “In every evaluation of new technology, we have “aha moments”. For us it was the day we were at the facility in Germany watching our rock be sorted on a production-scale machine. When we saw how fast it was happening, when we saw the product sorted and rejected, and when we were able to pick it up and look at it – we realised that this was not just a dream, this was real technology being applied at a production rate to our rock. All of a sudden, we realised that this was technology that would work for us at Mt Todd and that we needed to evaluate more seriously.”
And so, ore sorting has opened up a whole new window of opportunity for us with the Mt Todd project.