Friday, 3 October 2014

Progress on Biohydromet '16

A welcome visitor this morning was Dr. Chris Bryan, lecturer in sustainable mining and mineral resources at nearby Camborne School of Mines (CSM). Chris, one of MEI's biohydrometallurgy consultants, called in for coffee with me and Jon to discuss progress on Biohydromet '16 and the possibility of a tour of CSM's facilities during the conference.

Chris Bryan with Jon and me
Chris is working with Dr. Paul Norris, honorary research fellow of the Environment and Sustainability Institute of the University of Exeter, on the bioleaching of nickel concentrates and they will be presenting a paper on the high temperature bioleaching of pentlandite and pyrrhotite at Nickel Processing '15 in May.

They are also working on the use of Selfrag's electrical pulse fragmentation to improve bioleaching efficiency, and the remediation of water from the old Wheal Jane tin mine using algae.

During the panel discussion at Biohydromet '14 Dr. Norris stressed that academics should continue to search for more useful microorganisms, as there are areas in which those currently available are inadequate for industrial use, solids tolerance in stirred tanks being a notable area, particularly at high temperature. This has stimulated the appointment of a PhD student to bioprospect Cornish mining waste dumps to seek potentially better organisms.

Interesting work and much to look forward to at Biohydromet '16.

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