Standard International Symbol:    Au
Atomic Number:                          79
Atomic Weight:                           196.97 g.mol-1
Density:                                       19.3
Melting Point:                              1064 C
Uses: Monetary Value, Jewellery, Electronics 

Gold articles are found extensively in antiquity mainly as jewellery e.g. bracelets, rings etc. Early gold artifacts are rarely pure and most contain significant silver contents. This led to the ancients naming another metal - electrum, which was an alloy of gold and silver, pale yellow and similar in colour to amber. Therefore, early gold varied from pure through electrum to white gold. The symbol for gold is Au from the Latin aurum meaning shining dawn.

Stone age man learned to fashion gold into jewelry and ornaments, learning that it could be formed into sheets and wires easily. However, its malleability, which allows it to be formed into very thin sheet (0.000005 inches), ensures that it has no utilitarian value and early uses were only decorative. As gold is a noble metal, being virtually non-corrosive and tarnish free, it served this purpose admirably.

A total of ~175,000 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, as of 2011 This is roughly equivalent to 5.6 billion ounces (31.1035g) or, in terms of volume, about 9,100 m³, or a cube ~21 m on a side, which is less than the volume in 4 Olympic swimming pools !. The world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Contrary to general beliefs in the late 1990's and early 2000's, gold has once again proven to be a better investment than paper!

Click on symbol for more information about gold.

Standard International Symbol:     Co
Atomic Number:                           27
Atomic Mass:                                58.93 g.mol-1
Density:                                        8.9
Melting Point:                              1495 C
Uses: Super alloys, magnets, chemicals

Brandt discovered cobalt in about 1735. The word cobalt is derived from the German kobalt, from kobold meaning "goblin", a term used for the ore of cobalt by miners. The first attempts at smelting the cobalt ores to produce cobalt metal failed, yielding cobalt(II) oxide instead; not only that, but because of cobalt's curious affinity for arsenic, the primary ores of cobalt always contain arsenic, and upon smelting the arsenic oxidized into the highly toxic As4O6, which was breathed in by workers. Thus the reason it was considered evil was that many early metallurgist fell sick or died due to the arsenic fumes given off from the cobalt arsenic ores.

Cobalt compounds have been used for centuries to impart a rich blue color to glass, glazes, and ceramics. Cobalt has been detected in Egyptian sculpture and Persian jewelry from the third millennium BC, in the ruins of Pompeii (destroyed AD 79), and in China dating from the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907) and the Ming dynasty (AD 1368–1644). Cobalt glass ingots have been recovered from shipwrecks dating to the time of the Minoans (BC 2700-1450).

Today cobalt is used primarily in alloys of steel and to produce super alloys used in the turbines of all jet aircraft engines.

Click on symbol for more info about cobalt.

Thank you for your interest in the BioMet Corporation (BioMetallurgical Limited). The following is provided as a summary of the BioMet Group. Separate pamphlets are available for more detail on Gold & Base Metal resources and Engineering capabilities.

BioMet is an Engineering and Mining company and has acquired extensive mining interests in Zimbabwe since 1999.


The BioMet Group of Companies includes several mining companies including:




Zimbabwe Nickel Exploration Company zimnickel

The primary commodities produced within the BioMet group are gold, antimony, copper and nickel. The major mines fully owned within the BioMet Group include:
  • The Globe and Phoenix Mine - Gold and Antimony (Kwekwe)
  • The John Bull Mine – Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Bell Riverlea Mine - Gold and Antimony (Kwekwe)
  • The ANZAC group of mines (Monte Christo, Jojo, Ben Hur) - Gold and Antimony
  • (Kwekwe)
  • The Vuntade Mine – Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Rothhamstead Mine – Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Tiger Reef Mine - Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Primrose Mine - Gold and Antimony (Kwekwe)
  • The BD Mine – Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Chaka Mine - Gold (Kwekwe)
  • The Dalling Mine - Gold and Antimony (Kwekwe)
  • The Empress Nickel Mine - Nickel, Copper, Cobalt, PGM’s (Empress)
  • The Skipper Mine - Copper (Zhombe)
  • The Nkayi Copper Mine – Nickel and Copper (Nkayi)
The founder and CEO of the BioMet Group, Mr. Lee W John has consolidated almost all of the significant mining claims in the Kwekwe region under BioMet Corporation subsidiaries. These mines include the Globe and Phoenix mine and over 7 km of strike – all with old workings. The Globe and Phoenix mine was the richest mine in the British Empire for over 10 years in the first half of the 20th century, with an average gold recovery of over 50 grams per tonne or ore treated, for that period, at a rate of in excess of 100,000 ounces per year. Total recovered gold from the Globe and Phoenix alone is ~130 tonnes.

1The Chaka Gold Mill,
16,000tpm / ~30kgpm Au
Open Cast, Mill, CIP
Fully owned asset of the BioMet Group


3The Tiger Reef Mine
12,000tpm / ~25kgpm Au
Underground, Mill, CIP

Fully owned asset of the BioMet Group



The Tiger Reef Head Gear

Mr L W John
Chairman and CEO
BioMet Group

6The Monte Christo Heap

Leach Project
60,000tpm / ~30kg Au pm
Open cast, ROM Heap
Leach, CIS

Fully owned asset of the BioMet Group

7The Globe and Phoenix
Mine Mangers House

Now the BioMet Guest
House in Kwekwe

Built in 1898

Fully owned asset of the
BioMet Group


The Bell Riverlea Mine

Two Shafts.

Refractory ore, Bioleach
process planned.

Fully owned asset of the
BioMet Group

Thank you for your interest in the BioMet Engineering, which is a fully owned subsidiary of BioMet Corporation (BioMetallurgical Limited). BioMet Corporation is a Mining and Engineering company with extensive mining assets in Zimbabwe and Engineering experience throughout the world.

The following is a summary of recent and pertinent engineering projects. Separate pamphlets are available for more detail on various BioMet technologies and specific Engineering capabilities.

The Principle Engineer of BioMet Engineering is Mr Lee W John who has a reputation of successfully turning around failing or bankrupt mining and processing operations in Africa, Australia and Asia.

9Copper SX plant, Cobalt Refinery
Nkana Mine, Zambia.
20ktpa Cu Cathode.
Co raffinate to refinery.

Plant Designed and Commisssioned by BioMet #


# BioMet / L W John was sub-contracted to DRA Engineering – the main contractor


  • Mine Management, Engineering Project Management;
  • Track Record of Turning Around Bankrupt Mines;
  • Rescue Expertise for Failing Mines and Operations;
  • Conceptual Mineral Process / Hydromet Flow Sheet Design;
  • Bankable Feasibility Studies, Project Financial Analysis;
  • Project Due Diligence;
  • Training, Commissioning and Operation, Procedures;
  • Solvent Extraction (SX), Electrowinning (EW);
  • Heap / Dump Leach, Bioleaching;
  • Crushing, Milling, Flotation, CIP, RIS, CIS;
  • Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Uranium, Zinc, Gold, Antimony.

The most recent disaster management contract for BioMet / Mr L W John was the USD360 million Ruashi Copper and Cobalt project in the DRC.

Based on his history of Mine turnarounds, an emergency appointment of L W John as General Manager was made in Nov 2008 as the USD360 million Ruashi Mine project in the DRC faced bankruptcy. The Ruashi project was still in the construction and initial commissioning phase and the tasks included the rectification of a large range of problems in all aspects of the operation, human resources, security, construction, engineering, metallurgy and mining. The compliment that reported to the GM was approximately 750 Congolese and 40 expatriates as well as construction teams totalling around 1000. Bankruptcy was avoided and production was increased rapidly over the six-month appointment and remains profitable.

14Ruashi Phase 2
Copper and Cobalt plant
45ktpa Cu Cathode, 3ktpa Co
Lubumbashi, DRC
Final Construction,
Bankruptcy avoided
Managed by L W John

BioMet provides a comprehensive consulting engineering, project, and construction management service to our various mining operations and the mining and minerals sector in general. Our expertise in the fields of bio-metallurgy and innovative process design allow us to turn around projects, previously deemed as unfeasible, into economically successful endeavours.

Although the original focus of the company was to provide consulting engineering and metallurgical services to the mining industry, as a consequence of successful project implementation BioMetallurgical have developed significant process technologies, which are used in-house and made available to selected clients.

Through successful project delivery to various mines in the Southern African region, we have gained an enviable reputation in regards to heap leach design and practice. This, in conjunction with our use of mobile processing equipment, contract mining and crushing will put our organisation at the leading edge of mining projects in the Southern African region in the next few years.

15Copper Leach Plant16

Crush, Mill, Leach
CCD, SX plant with
High and Low Grade
PLS / SX Circuits

72ktpm ore
15ktpa Cu Cathode

Nkana Mine, Zambia

17Copper Electrolyte
over flowing from EW
Cell (Above)

First Copper
Production (Left)

Plant Partly Designed
and Fully
By BioMet #

# BioMet / L W John was sub-contracted to DRA Engineering – the main contractor


Cobalt Carbonate produced at the Copper Cobalt Plant at Sable Zinc, Kabwe, Zambia Fully Commissioned by BioMet #

Other recent projects include Mufulira in-situ SX plant II, Nkana Cobalt Plant CuSX and Mufulira Agglomeration projects – with the majority engineered by and all commissioned by BioMet #

6The Monte Christo Heap
Leach Project, Kwe Kwe,

60,000tpm / ~30kg Au pm
Open cast, ROM Heap
Leach, CIS

Fully Designed,
Commissioned & Operated
by BioMet

Please direct any questions you may have to the Principle Engineer, Mr. Lee W John.
Lee W John
Globe & Phoenix Mine Offices
PO Box 1542
Principle Engineer
+263 773 359 010 or +27 72 048 1180
Kwe Kwe,
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