Much of the world’s gold reserves that can be mined by simple techniques are becoming rarer, with many gold deposits linked with sulfur and other elements in a combination known as refractory gold ore, which need heat treatment for economic recovery.
Spheric Technologies believes it has an opportunity based on the worldwide increase in demand for gold, driving current prices over $1600 US per ounce. Over 20% of current known world gold reserves may exist in these refractory ores – with ever increasing gold prices, refractory ores are of increasing interest. The opportunity becomes not only the recovery of this refractory gold at lower cost than current methods, but also to increase the amount of gold recovered when compared with other technologies, according to Spheric. Peer reviewed scientific data confirms that microwave ‘roasting’ of these ores can increase mineral recovery.
The market, based on the number of gold mining and exploration companies, is more than 250 million ounces of proven reserves that could benefit from its technology in more than 35 mining companies worldwide, Spheric believes.
The company's product is a microwave rotary furnace intended to handle multiple tons of moderately ground ore per day; plus a technology license for the intellectual property covering the furnace and process. Spheric intends to align itself with a strong mid-tier gold producer as a champion of this approach and to ease and support market penetration.
Management believes that it has a strong value proposition for potential investors, with revenue from both equipment sales and a participation in revenue due to greater recovery. Near term developments may include equipment for microwave production of biofuels and bio-char as well, and Spheric's equipment is currently being tested for low energy input ceramics production for oil and gas.