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Reductive Bioprocessing to Recover Cobalt and Nickel From Laterites in Brazil

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

Challenge the practice is addressing: This project addresses the recovery of metals and will develop an environmentally friendly and energy-saving bio hydrometallurgical process. It will compile both efficient metal recovery techniques and bioleaching to lower the environmental impact and cost-effectiveness. This is an important approach as Cobalt is a critical raw material in the EU and is crucial for the green transition.

Concrete practice to achieve the expected goal: The reduction of bioleaching processes should include: defining whether Cobalt and Nickel carriers are predominantly oxide or saprolite, the recovery of valuable metals from the ferrous PLS, iron oxidation combined with iron precipitation as jarosite or schwertmannite.

Expected impact/goal of the practice: The expected impact is not only to reduce the environmental impact by reducing bioleaching technology to increase processing laterite ores which has a high sustainable potential. This will lead to a reduction of operating costs and of the consumption of much less energy and fewer chemicals.

Who is the target user group of the practice/intervention or implementing the practice/intervention? The practice is mainly relevant for the industry contexts.

"BioProLat Reductive Bioprocessing to Recover Cobalt and Nickel From Laterites in Brazil"
Data item type
Knowledge base
Practice type
Report / document
Learning relevance
Guidelines / guidance document
Metalliferous minerals
Extractive life-cycle
Exploitation phase
Sustainability scope
Role and indicators for an inclusive Green Economy
Extractives' role in closing cycles
Water stewardship
Efficient energy consumption
System change potential
The proposed reductive bioleaching technology for processing laterite ores has high sustainability potential and is a radical departure from established high-temperature technologies for laterite ores, enabling the use of much less complex reactors while reducing capital and operating costs and consuming much less energy and fewer chemicals.
recovery of valuable metals from the ferrous PLS