Sudbury’s tailings ponds could hold key to easing EV battery shortage, researcher says (CBC News Sudbury – May 29, 2022)

Metal-eating bacteria could help extract $7B-$10B worth of minerals at Copper Cliff

The key to supplying the automotive industry with enough electric vehicle batteries may rest in a toxic eyesore: Sudbury’s vast tailings ponds.

Tailings are the waste material left over from ore extraction processes — often mixed with water and stored in ponds. But for several years, the potential for leaks of toxic substances into the surrounding environment has raised concerns about these tailings and questions about what, if anything, can be done with them.

Nadia Mykytczuk, the interim president/CEO of mining research facility MIRARCO and interim executive director of the Goodman School of Mines, both at Laurentian University in Sudbury, said there’s a way to reuse the tailings and provide enough material needed for the expected demand in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Mykytczuk, who was Laurentian’s Industrial Research Chair in Biomining, Bioremediation and Science Communication, presented her ideas at BEV In-Depth, a major conference on the future of electric vehicles held at Science North in Sudbury on Wednesday and Thursday.

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