In the first part of this article, Group 11 Technologies shared with you the challenges faced by the mining industry these days and the advantages of in-situ mining.
In this second part of this post, we are going to dive deeper into in-situ recovery and how it’s going to take us towards keyhole mining:
Although standard leaching techniques are used for in-situ metal recovery, it is essential to understand the differences between the two.
In conventional mineral processing, ore or rocks are blasted or drilled to liberate the minerals present in the rock. In in-situ mining, the ore or rock is left intact, with the ore or rocks being dissolved by chemicals (e.g., acids) that are pumped into the deposit. In-situ mining is becoming the most effective and environmentally sustainable type of mining with the advancement of technology.
The most important reason for leaching, as opposed to mechanical mining, is related to the fact that valuable minerals get trapped in uneconomic material. These trapped minerals are generally considered to be uneconomic – they would cost more to extract than they would be worth.
The Environmental Aspect of ISR
In-situ mining prevents the removal of unstable rock and tailings, which contributes to the loss of groundwater and its quality. As mining advances, millions of gallons of water are used to dissolve the metals in the ground. This water is treated and pumped out of the pit. If a mine is not constructed correctly, the water may contain toxic chemicals – which can contaminate the nearby water sources.
Using in-situ mining eliminates the need for surface waste rock, thus reducing the amount of waste deposited near the mining site. This leads to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly environment and reduces greenhouse gasses and the leaching of chemicals into the air.
ISR Offers a New Way of Doing Things
In-situ mining offers miners new ways of making money. It allows miners to find deposits that are not economically viable with other mining techniques. ISR allows miners to recover valuable metals in an environmentally friendly way. In-situ mining makes mining economically viable, thus improving the mining industry’s performance.
As technology advances, it is becoming more and more profitable to use in-situ mining. It is improving in-situ recovery efficiency and expanding it into many other countries. By combining in-situ mining with pad drilling, the mining industry can move towards keyhole mining, where the miners can extract minerals without digging a pit.
Is This the Way Forward?
Each year, more than 3,000 tonnes of gold and 20,000 tonnes of silver are recovered by in-situ mining. Canada, China, Germany, Peru, the USA, Australia, and Mexico use in-situ mining as their primary mining method.
As more and more countries move towards in-situ mining, the mining industry will become even more competitive – due to its higher efficiency and lower operating costs.
In-situ mining provides us with a new way of mining and extracts minerals from the ground in an environmentally friendly way. It helps miners extract minerals from all over the world – where the mining would not be possible with the traditional mining techniques.
Today’s mining industry faces much pressure from its shareholders and the government. It has to operate in an environmentally friendly way. As technology advances and becomes more affordable, in-situ mining is becoming the most efficient and environmentally-friendly form of mining.
As miners see the advantages of in-situ mining and keyhole mining, the mining industry will become more competitive and profitable in the future. It will help us to extract minerals from all over the world, where mining would not be possible with traditional mining techniques. It will also allow us to create a cleaner and greener environment.
Group 11 Technologies can help you enjoy the benefits of in-situ recovery mining in Canada. Contact us today if you want to know more about ISR!