Sparc uses graphene to extract gold from tailings


Graphene development company Sparc Technologies has demonstrated that its graphene product in solution can adsorb gold and silver from mine tailings dumps.

Adsorption, not to be confused with absorption, is a process in which molecules are held loosely on the surface of an adsorbent.

The company, which has licenced graphene-based technologies from the University of Adelaide, has shown its product outperformed commercially available adsorbents, opening up a large potential market treating minesite dumps.

Sparc has tested functionalised graphene composite-based adsorbents for the removal of precious metals, oils and PFAS chemicals as a replacement for today’s technologies which are based on activated carbon.

Sparc results showed 96.98 per cent and 97.82 per cent adsorption of gold and silver.

Managing director Tom Spurling said the company was encouraged to progress to further stages of testing at both operating and residual minesites.

“Furthermore the results are consistent with the significant improvement in performance that we are seeing in other projects being undertaken by Sparc with materials that are enhanced with graphene.”

Picture: Sparc Technologies

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