Foundations For Mining (F4M)

Some years ago, Appropriate Process Technologies (APT), in Johannesburg, South Africa, developed a concentrator called the Gold Kacha (GK). It is a mechanised piece of equipment which replaces the manual sluicing of crushed gold ores or mine dumps containing gold particles. Thanks to fundraising help from CRED, in 2016, Terry Garde commissioned, demonstrated, and left a GK in Busia, Uganda for an artisanal gold mining co-operative to use.

The next year, he returned and learned about women miners’ GK use e.g. Margaret Ongura said: ‘The GoldKacha is very, very good, it is very fast and also it reduces mercury because you don’t use mercury at all until after the GoldKacha then what you are using is very little compared to what you used before’.

It was not surprising to hear about the effectiveness of mechanical concentrating; it was a surprise to hear that less mercury was consumed in the subsequent panning of the concentrate. She continued: ‘There is no chance of the GoldKacha leaving gold behind in the sand you don’t find any gold remaining in it. The GoldKacha gets all the gold and takes it down so that the tailings have nothing, they don’t have gold at all. When we are pouring (sluicing) the sand it still has gold, but the GoldKacha remaining does not have gold and most people now believe that the GoldKacha washes and clears all gold from the tailings. We are really happy to think that God has thought about them, it is a wonder.’ At this point the group of ladies being interviewed all laughed.

Now a new smaller, cheaper version, the Gold Kacha mini, is being manufactured and the first one is shown in Harare with its developer, Kevin Woods from APT. It is the red cylinder in the middle.

The Gold Kacha mini is completely untried and unknown by artisanal (or more politely called ‘community’) miners.

CRED have graciously raised funds for the device is to be taken to gold mining areas to demonstrate its efficiency and ease of operation, although these demonstrations have not yet begun. Being cheaper and more transportable than the standard Gold Kacha, it is hoped that either mining entrepreneurs or small groups of miners will purchase a miniGK for their own use.

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