Bio-heap-leaching is a hydrometallurgical process used to process low grade chalcopyrite ore as the cost of alternative routes of processing and refining are not economically viable. The limitation however of the heap leaching process is the long time it takes to leach the metal and the low total recovery that can be achieved. As heap leaching being a large scale atmospheric leaching process, neither temperature nor pressure can be changed.
The research program is aimed at developing operating systems that enable grinding mill speeds to be controlled in responses to variations in ore properties. Although there are studies that show speed control can improve productivity and significantly reduce energy requirements, mines presently used fixed speed systems for their ball and tower mills. With development of new variable speed drive systems that can retrofitted to the fixed speed systems, there is an opportunity for mines to introduce the technology for their operation.
This research project seeks to improve the process which is used to recover fine phosphorous particles from mine tailings. Phosphorus based fertilizers are important for plant growth and essential to large-scale, high-efficiency farming methods. However, the processing method used to obtain phosphate from phosphate-bearing ore is not very efficient. Upward of 13 % of the available phosphate is lost to the waste stream during processing, which represents a major inefficiency and creates a large environmental problem.
Most of the gold that is produced by hydrometallurgical processes is recovered by cyanide leaching. However, the reactive nature of some minerals questions the applicability of cyanide technology for selected applications. The current research is designed to evaluate the cyanide technology as well as an alternative processing path for a particular material through extensive experimental program. The project will yield the mathematical models describing all chemical processes in each circuit, as well as mass and energy balances based on laboratory data and scientific reasoning.
The uGPS Rapid Mapper is a laser system mounted on a mining vehicle which acquires 3D images of tunnels in underground mines. Currently, engineers use the images for mine design and operations. This research project will create two new applications for the images acquired by the system: mapping of the geology of the tunnel walls (identifying different rock types, minerals veins and fractures) and making a tally of man-made objects (such as rock bolts, pipes and ventilation tubes).
Many copper deposits contain significant amount of arsenic and antimony and being overlooked because of it. These impurities are currently subject to smelters penalty. Development of an efficient technology for removal of these impurities and converting them as sellable products will make a number of deposits economic that are currently not being mined. The current research will assist in identifying the most efficient technology for treating such complex minerals and to meet the rising demand for clear copper concentrates.
This research focuses on novel sensor-based algorithms for sorting rocks and categorizing them as good (valuable) and bad (worthless) rocks. The sensors in the sorter will see the rocks characteristics, whether its their color or atomic density or the desired element and send a command to a mechanical arm, for example, to separate the two types of rock from each other.
Iberian Minerals is a junior mining company, based in Canada. The Company recently acquired Mineworx Technologies, based in Vancouver, British Columbia and is now focused on various mining technologies. One such technology we are developing is an eco-friendly, non-cyanide based leach extraction for gold processing utilizing iodine as a complexing agent. The research and development undertaken will study the feasibility of a new approach to a sustainable process in gold mining, which will see an immediate positive ecological impact on pollution through the non-use of highly toxic cyanide.
This project aims to develop, and implement a code for real-time geotechnical hazard assessment and reporting for ultra-deep mining. This pilot project will be tested on a real mining site the Glencores Nickel Rim South Mine near Sudbury. This algorithm will represent a step-change in the capability to assess and manage geotechnical risk in mining, which will have particular value in the high-stress geotechnical operating conditions of ultra-deep mines.
HMR-Canada has introduced magnetic liners for grinding mills that will improve the mill performance and efficiency. Mill liners have two main functions. First they protect the mill shell from wear and deliver energy to the material by lifting the material in a trajectory that creates the energy needed to break the rocks.
Magnetic liners in specific add other functions to the liners. They attract scats and magnetic minerals that form a renewable protective layer, which would increase life span of liners and shell, easier and faster to install.