A project for winning deep ores

The BIOMOre project aims at extracting metals from deep mineralized zones in Europe by coupling solution mining and bioleaching.

Different supply/demand forecasts estimate a lack of (critical) raw materials leading to higher costs or even no more availability in the future at all. Although existing deposits in Europe are highly exploited to a depth of ~1 km, there are significant amounts of ore below this depth. Therefore, new methods are needed to recover the metal from these deep ores in an economic, sustainable and environmentally acceptable manner.

The BIOMOre concept is designed to channel impermeable ore bodies and bioleach metals in-situ. To achieve this, biogeochemical and geotechnological methods and models will be developed and optimized, and specialized equipment designed and built.

Scientific and technological expert input will be contributed by the project partners, who come from seven European countries, Canada and the Rep. of South Africa. These experts represent the forefront of knowledge and innovation in raw materials supply.

If the theoretical results, underground tests and the critical economical assessment are positive, a second phase of the project is anticipated in which a pilot plant will be built and operated to demonstrate the applicability of the process on a larger scale. However, the pilot plant is not part of the current BIOMOre project.

Project name: New Mining Concept for Extracting Metals from Deep Ore Deposits using Biotechnology (BIOMOre)
Project start: 02/2015
Project duration: 3 years
Project funded by: EC / EU H2020 Innovation Program
Project fund: approx. € 8.4M