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Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 11, No. 6, 2001, pp. 30-31
Bioline Code: au01072
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles), Vol. 11, No. 6, 2001, pp. 30-31

 en BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE MINING INDUSTRY - Straits Resources Limited And The Industrial Practice Of Copper Bioleaching In Heaps
David John Readett


The bioleaching of copper has been undertaken for centuries. However it has only been in the last 10 years that the technology has developed to a stage where it now contributes to a significant proportion of the world's copper production. Straits Resources Limited managed the Girilambone Copper Operation - the world's first stand-alone copper-mine heap-bioleach solvent-extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) operation, and now also owns and operates the Nifty Copper Operation. Through the GCC operation the technique of heap-bioleach aeration was developed and is now being used by all major heap-bioleach operations around the world. Straits is continuing to develop its bioleach technology and next year is set to continue its ambitious R&D program to further develop the bioleaching of both chalcocite and chalcopyrite, and investigation of ecosystem rehabilitation in relation to mine closure.

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