Gekko had received a $1,2-million Australian government innovation grant to help develop the revolutionary technology which will change the face of underground processing globally.
The grant will be matched by Gekko.
As a result, a total of A$2,4-million will be spent over a three year period on the project.
The R&D programme involves designing, building and testing a modular underground processing plant.
“The key concept of this innovation is to crush and pre-concentrate the ore underground and take only the small valuable portion of the ore to the surface, a process the company refers to as 'key hole processing'” said Sandy Gray, technical director of Gekko Systems.
It is noteworthy that the principal market opportunity is in gold mining, and that the technological inclination of this project is towards this sector. However, this is not to exclude other minerals from the market scope of this project: the emphasis on gold is merely a result of the high value of the metal, the relatively low concentrations in which it is present in many ore bodies and the great depths at which some gold mines work.
All of these factors support the use of underground processing techniques.