Tuesday, 26 April 2011

"Invisible Miners"- a great introduction to biotechnology

The BioMinE project is an integrated European project on biotechnologies, involving 37 companies, aimed at allowing the integration of biotechnology based processes for recovery and/or removal of metals from primary ores and concentrates and secondary metal bearing materials.

The biotechnologies to be investigated will include bioleaching, biooxidation, biosorption, bioreduction, bioaccumulation, bioprecipitation, bioflotation, bioflocculation, and biosensors, as well as microbiological research. The ultimate objective will be the establishment of environmentally friendly biotechnologies that are economic, particularly at a small scale. They will provide an alternative to current technologies such as roasting and smelting.

The consortium has produced a film Invisible Miners, which is an excellent introduction to the subject of biotechnology in the minerals industry. It is available on YouTube in 4 parts, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Next year's Biohydromet '12 conference will be held in Falmouth, UK, and it is hoped that work emanating from this project will be presented there.


  1. Biomine is a great project on biotechnology.
    Biohydromet'12 will bring news subjets to this area.
    Mauricio L Torem
    DEMa PUC-Rio

  2. BioMinE was an EU project (see here - http://biomine.brgm.fr/) that ran for four years while the end of 2008. It was a huge integrated project in the Sixth EU Framework Programme (FP6) comprising 37 industrial and academic partners from 14 EU and associate countries. The total budget for this project was 17.9 million Euros over the four years, of which 11.6 million Euros came from the EC. BRGM were the project coordinators.

    A list of the publications can be found here: http://biomine.brgm.fr/products_publications.asp, but it should be noted that the site has probably not been updated for a couple of years. It was a great project to be involved in, and really, it was felt it needed a couple more years to really get the most out of it, but this wasn't to be.

    I should hope that many of the networks created during this project are still going strong, and it would be great to get a few of the groups together again at Bio & Hydromet '12 to see where we are now.
    Chris Bryan, Curtin University, Australia


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