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BioMinE: integrated project for the development of biotechnology for metal-bearing materials in Europe
BRGM, Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières.
BRGM, Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières.
Mintek, Randburg, South Africa.
Paques, El Balk, The Netherlands.
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2006 (English)In: Hydrometallurgy, ISSN 0304-386X, Vol. 83, no 1-4, 69-76 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biohydrometallurgy is the offspring of the unexpected union of biotechnology and metallurgy. From specific properties of some extreme biotopes, active principles of interactions between microbial metabolisms and minerals have been extracted to be used as efficient metallurgical processes.

Many profitable industrial operations based on these bioprocesses have been running to recover copper, gold, uranium or cobalt for instance and many other applications have been designed.

Europe was quite active in this area in the past, but currently the leadership is in South Africa, America and Australia.

BioMinE (Biotechnology for Metal-bearing material In Europe) is a large integrated project launched with the support of the European Commission. It is aimed at stimulating synergies between the most relevant universities, research and industrial organisations to develop new concepts in this technical field that allow a better exploitation of the mineral resources in the future.

The main technical subject is the investigation of the opportunities to apply bioleach processes to primary and secondary resources of metal-bearing materials. The second technical area of the project in terms of effort is the study of the recovery of metals from pregnant bioleach solution using biological reagents. All along the project duration, these investigations are focussed on the relevant resources in Europe screened according to an iterative process. The integration of the innovative pathways of processing will be evaluated up to the pilot scale whenever it is appropriate.

The Consortium of BioMinE comprises 35 partners from industry (12 including 5 SMEs) research organisations (9) universities (14) and government (2). The participants are from 12 EU member states, from 1 candidate country (Romania), and from South Africa (INCO Country).

The overall budget of the project is 17.9 million Euros, with a contribution from the European Commission of 11.6 million Euros. Started on November 1, 2004, the project will last 4 years.

An overview of BioMinE in the general context of the biohydrometallurgy development is the subject of this presentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2006. Vol. 83, no 1-4, 69-76 p.
Keyword [en]
Biohydrometallurgy, Metal extraction, Bioleaching, Ore processing, Sulphide concentrate
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Microbiology Organic Chemistry
Research subject
Microbiology; Earth Sciences with Specialization Environmental Analysis; Organic Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87089DOI: 10.1016/j.hydromet.2006.03.047ISI: 000240030200011OAI: diva2:706098
EC 6th Framework Programme, IP Biomine project NMP-2002-
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, NMP-2002-
Available from: 2014-03-18 Created: 2014-03-18 Last updated: 2014-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Norberg, Anders
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