Biotechnology

As near-surface oxide orebodies are depleted, mines are having to process deeper sulfide ores that are lower in metal grade and metallurgically more complex. Modern technologies that are simple, cost effective and environmentally sound are required for their extraction. In many cases, bioleaching is the most suitable process.

Services & Facilities

Tall column leach testing facility

Tall column leach testing facility

Mintek’s Biotechnology Division offers a full range of metallurgical testing facilities for evaluating the response of ores and concentrates to bioleach processing. These facilities include state-of-the-art equipment covering a wide range of sizes and applications. Mintek’s wide range of metallurgical testing and analytical facilities enable the Division to offer a complete testing package, covering unit operations such as comminution, concentration, leaching, thickening and filtration, precipitation, cyanide leaching, solvent extraction, electrowinning and ion exchange. This is backed up by Mintek’s advanced mineralogical and analytical facilities.

Metallurgical test work programmes for heap leaching, heap bioleaching and agitated tank bioleaching are offered. The bioleaching services include comprehensive microbiological capabilities, and the results of the test programmes can be used to derive process design and costing information for rapid assessments of process economics.

The Biotechnology Division has been involved in demonstration and commercialisation of its technologies, and can provide ongoing support to the client during the design, construction and commissioning of commercial bioleach plants.