Bio-mining company to begin testing Sudbury mine waste – by Staff (Elliot Lake Today – December 28, 2023)

BacTech Environmental to run six-month pilot plant of its bioleaching mineral extraction technology

Testing of an innovative ‘green’ mining technology to extract valuable metals out of mine waste will start in Sudbury in early 2024. BacTech Environmental has a proprietary and environmentally friendly bioleaching process that it wants to test on mine tailings to extract small amounts of cobalt and nickel while it simultaneously cleans up the environment.

The bioleaching process involves using native and naturally occurring and harmless bacteria that can be trained in the lab to target certain ores and contain other substances that are harmful to humans.

The company delivered an update on its proposed Sudbury pyrrhotite bioleach R&D project in a recent newsletter. If the testing proves commercially successful, it could lead to a new kind of eco-friendly mining industry in the city.

The Toronto company has been working in concert with a Sudbury research partner, MIRARCO Mining Innovation, to test BacTech’s technology on small laboratory-scale pilot plant stage. Beginning in January, a few kilograms a day (of tailings) will be tested. The program will run for six months.

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