Research focus into possible ISR mining at Kapunda Mine Site
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In-Situ Recovery is a proven method of metal recovery that has been used for over 50 years, but recent technological improvements in the ISR process and the use of lixiviants (leaching agents) are broadening the potential application of this method to the recovery of other metals like gold and copper, from known “stranded assets”.
The lixiviants likely to be used include glycine, sodium thiosulphate and dilute acetic acid (vinegar). These are environmentally friendly and biodegrade. Mining won’t be permitted to occur, however if there is a risk of these contaminating the aquifer and there are several safeguards that will be required to be in place to ensure this does not happen.
Environmental Copper Recovery recently received a research grant to investigate the social, economic and environmental impacts of ISR at the Kapunda Mine, currently in progress by CSIRO.