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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Processing Technology
Project Period
2018 - 2022

The Challenge

Acceptance of in-situ recovery (ISR) as a practical mining technology is currently limited by our restricted understanding of the systemic performance of chemical recovery systems and mechanisms for promoting and controlling fluid circulation within rocks of low innate permeability.

The Solution

Controlled fluid flow in low-permeability rocks can be enhanced through a range of methods including electrokinetic, ultrasonic or solution-pulsing. Further research is recommended to find the optimal combination of these approaches.

The effectiveness of potential lixiviant (chemical extractant) solutions for ISR varies for different value metals and ore mineralogies.

The favourable outcomes of this benchtop research may justify further investigation in a small-scale pilot test in a more realistic mining environment.

Proposed Benefit to WA

ISR technology could enable extraction of value metals from ore bodies too deep, of inadequate grade, or otherwise sub-economic for conventional mining practice. This could prolong the operation of many existing mines in Western Australia reaching the end of their economic life, or help convert currently sub-economic systems into commercial prospects, all while reducing the environmental impact of mining.

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Page was last reviewed 18 March 2024

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