Deadly toxicity in mine processing and tailings of the past is disappearing, making way for more environmental and safer chemistry. Much of mine processing and remediation is simply chemistry. REDOX chemistry, we believe holds the answers to future products and processes for a cleaner mining industry. REDOX stands for Reduction / Oxidation or the movement of electrons. Electrons are moving constantly in mine chemistry from oxidizing sulfides to removing organic carbon, to gold leaching to tailings treatment. Better understanding and controlling these REDOX is crucial to finding new products and processes for a cleaner mine site. Bio-Mine opened a division for clean mine chemistry in 2017, and in just a short time, our scientists have made some breakthrough discoveries that have led to new patented products and processes for cleaner mine processing and remediation. Taking our cue from the medical research industry, our team is experimenting with dozens and dozens of ideas in REDOX and controling the movement of electrons to unlock unique answers to new products and processeses. Most of this brainstorming experimentation will fail, as that is part of early stage research, but every so often we discover success, and take a new or modified REDOX chemistry to commercial development with our mine operator partners. We rely heavily on our operator partners to support this rapid early stage research incubation into finding safer ways to move the electrons in the mine site process.
Pre-treatment is the concept of performing some change to the ore morphology to try and unlock more of the valuable metals. This process has many different methods and most of them will involve the moving of electrons. Bio-Mine Ltd uses only natural, safe REDOX to accomplish this, anchored by our advanced extreme bio-communities, where our team identifies triggers and metabolism that will perform natural movement of the electrons needed in processes like sulfide oxidation or organic carbon removal, or even unlocking from previously difficult ore like Chalcopyrite or other difficult sulfide families. Our team is learning from these incredible creatures, unlocking the methods of their REDOX involvement, and applying them to our research into finding safer, more natural synthetic REDOX chemistry to pre-treat ore bodies and unlock more of the valuable metals then ever before possible. This research will lead to SAFE, advanced oxidation lixiviants powerful enough to oxidize the targets in the ore.
Of course the most important phase of mine processing is the actual recovery. To date recovery conventionally involves using extememly high toxicity to accomplish the extraction of the metals from extreme temperatures to deadly acids to poison chemicals. Even these toxic processes are essentially electrons moving, from Gold bonding with cyanide or base metals to sulfate in solution. Bio-Mine tirelessly works on the REDOX of this phase, researching and designing custom products dedicated to safer REDOX chemistry. What if we could charge the Gold ion to +1 faster and protect it from inhibiting aspects like passivation and ligand stealing? What if you could design a custom lixiviant using REDOX to reduce the amount of CN needed to leach the same amount of gold? What if you could engineer a lixiviant using custom REDOX to replace Cyanide without compromising profit? These are the developments that Bio-Mine work on every day. Every project is uniquely designed based on what the ore or tailings provides us, and controlling the electron movement is the key to cleaner mining.
After processing is complete and the operators have their metals, the hard job begins. How do we treat these tailings and protect our environment. Again REDOX chemistry is key to finding safer ways to treat tailings, and Bio-Mine has a team dedicated to detoxifcation and recycling of tailings water back into the mine process or discharged to the environment. This phase is very complex and involves numerous steps to accomplish true treatment, but each step will involve some movement of electrons. Bio-Mine specializes in cleaner processes like organic floc / coagulation, safe ion transfer, natural zeolite immobilization and of course powerful biotech stages, all involving carefully controlled REDOX chemistry working together to treat waste and tailings water. Our team experiments with a wide variety of products and processes to determine their capabilities as part of our low footprint remediation design. Remediation is not something that will be solved with one technology or process. It takes sequences of processes each with an objective to eventually reach the goal for clean tailings water. Bio-Mine has a network of partners from all over the world we work with, in testing and developing cleaner REDOX based products and processes that may form a working sequence to move the right electrons that will effectively treat the tailings safely and economically.