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Metallurgical testing continues to support a technically simple, low initial capital and operating cost combination of crush/agglomeration and ROM heap leach processing routes for the oxide gold mineralization at Goldstrike. All metallurgical testing to date has been supervised by Gary Simmons MMSA, who has managed and/or supervised several large scale metallurgical programs on Carlin-style sedimentary rock hosted oxide deposits throughout the Great Basin.
Gold oxide is the most stable form of gold, a reddish-brown solid that decomposes at 160 degrees Celsius. It is highly resistant to most oxidising agents and acids. However, it is soluble in alkalies and is attacked by hydrochloric acid to produce auric salts and metallic gold. It reacts with free halogens to form double nitrates and chlor-aurates.
oxide gold is found in the sulphides and pyrites that have a low cyanide solubility, as well as in the carbonaceous material that makes up most of the historic mining pads at Goldstrike. It is also present sporadically in the deeper stratigraphic column and in the drill holes that extend below the historic pads.
Most of the oxide gold in the historic mining pad material at Goldstrike was extracted by heap leaching using a low concentration of cyanide. The cyanide dissolved the refractory gold in the matrix and left behind the more stable oxide gold. It is estimated that there are