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.