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In situ bioleaching (ISL) process

  • Health and safety
  • Land-use planning
  • Permitting processes / policy integration
  • Reporting official statistics
  • Socio-economic and environmental impact assessments

Challenge the practice is addressing: Introduction of a practice not currently used in Europe (ISL) to mine deep copper deposits while also reducing environmental and social impacts.

Concrete practice to achieve the expected goal: The BIOMOre in situ bioleaching technology involves drilling into impermeable copper deposits, applying hydraulic fracturing to increase permeability and using a bacterially generated, acidic solution of ferric sluphate to leach the fractured ore body.

Expected impact/goal of the practice: Allow access to currently unreachable deposits, reduction of energy involved in excavation and crushing processes, reduction of greenhouse gases and dust, less noise and improved health and safety for workers. Reduction of the visual impact and the impact on biodiversity, due to relatively small area of land, that needs to be disturbed to access the ore. And also the creation of tailings and the need for a tailings dam is avoided.

Who is the target user group of the practice/intervention or implementing the practice/intervention? The target user groups of ISL are both the industry and policy makers - industry to actually use the technology and policy makers to change policy and legislation to directly address ISL.

Deliverable Number 5.3: Review of legislation and BREF documents for the environmentally safe exploitation of stimulated in situ bioleaching D5.3 BioMore, p. 10 - 19
Data item type
Practice base
Practice type
Public policy
Report / document
Learning relevance
Guidelines / guidance document
Case study
Metalliferous minerals
Extractive life-cycle
Exploitation phase
Sustainability scope
Benefit sharing
Holistic management and continuous learning
Waste management
Efficient energy consumption
System change potential
Reduction of environmental and social impacts