Many junior gold companies are coping with low gold prices by re-engineering projects to reduce capital requirements. A lower cost alternative is heap leaching, where ore is stacked on impermeable liners in «heaps». A drip system is applied to dissolve the gold from the rock in a closed circuit that recirculates the spent solution. No milling and fewer moving parts are required, so the capital cost is much less than other methods of extraction. This has enabled junior developers in Nevada, Mexico, Peru, Burkina Faso, and elsewhere to move forward with economically viable projects.

Heap Leach, California 2014
Source: Van Eck Research

About the Author:
Joe Foster has been Portfolio Manager for the Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund since 1998 and the Van Eck – Global Gold UCITS Fund since 2012. Mr. Foster, an acknowledged authority on gold, has over 10 years of dedicated experience in geology and mining including as a gold geologist in Nevada. He has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and on Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Foster has also published articles in a number of mining journals, including Mining Engineering and Geological Society of Nevada.

The article above is an opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MV Index Solutions or its affiliates.