Have you ever heard of ISR mining? Open-cut and underground mining has been the basis of the resource sector globally for many years. However, both come with well-recognized concerns of premium costs, significant environmental effects, enormous footprint, and difficult post-mining rehabilitation.
ISR mining is an alternative to conventional mining and has a lot of benefits. It is much cheaper and uses a lower impact technique of mineral extraction in the right geological conditions.
Reduced costs of operations mean greater ROI. The closure expenses are also significantly less, mine rehabilitation is much more improved, and the entire process does not damage the land as traditional mining does.
Things You Should Know About ISR Mining:
1. ISR Mining is the More Economical and Ecological Mining Solution
In-situ leaching (ISL) or in-situ recovery (ISR) uses drill holes to remove minerals like copper and uranium. ISL dissolves solid minerals, which isn’t a new idea in mining. For the last fifty years, it has been widely used in mining uranium, producing 48 percent of the global uranium supply. It can also extract copper, gold, and silver.
2. ISR Mining Needs the Right Geological Conditions
ISR is rare because it requires ideal geological conditions. Few places on earth have a very porous ore body. Copper ore must be organically fragmented, fractured, and pervious. The target mineral should be dissolvable in a mild acid. Finally, the deposits must be below the water table to facilitate fluid flow.
3. The ISR Method Is Precise and Unique
After reaching the right conditions, drill holes will then be pushed through the ore. The leaching solution passes through the fractured rock, draining the copper. The copper fluid is subsequently drawn to the plant’s surface for processing before being obtained from the solution and returned to the well.
A water flush is performed after mining to eliminate any residual leaching solution. Meanwhile, the surface is restored to its pre-mining state for future usage.
4. ISR Mining Has a Lot of Benefits
Today, ISR mining has become a popular drilling technique because of its lower cost, minimal noise, fewer CO2 emissions, and the least visual disturbance.
Advantages of ISR Mining
1. Lower Environmental Impact
ISR operations don’t need blasting or waste rock movement, resulting in low noise, minimal dust, and no vast open pits called tailings dams. It has less visible and environmental effects than open cut and underground mining. As a result, land access does not have to be restricted, and the area may be restored to its pre-mining usage faster than regular mining.
2. Greater Revenues
Compared to other mining methods that require moving rock, developing open pits, or building tailing dams, ISR has fewer environmental effects, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money on their initial capital outlay.
3. Highly Scalable
Developing cheaper, scalable operations that adapt fast to the whole mining cycle is viable with ISR mining. Increasing or decreasing output can be as easy as switching on or off production wells if you can expect a change in commodity prices.
4. Non-intrusive to Other Land Use
Because of its limited visible impact, ISR mining helps simultaneous land uses, including agriculture, tourism, and urbanization. Because ISR does not entail earth or rock movement, blasting, or extensive excavations, it creates less dust and noise, allowing it to be used in regions where the land application is competitive. After the operation, the area may be rapidly and efficiently restored to its pre-mining usage.
The uranium industry is the first to experience success using ISR for mining. ISR shares uranium production in the world. It is one of the most effective methods available to reduce the cost of production for certain natural deposits.
These economic and ecological benefits are the main factors pushing for this type of mining among countries worldwide. These advantages could also allow non-first-world countries to compete with other world players in terms of uranium mining. The wealth it can bring to a nation can be life-changing for their economy, providing more jobs for their people.
Above all, this progress is sustainable because people can still use the affected land for other purposes and benefits.
Environmentally and socially responsible mineral extraction is a priority for Group 11 Technologies Inc. Since then, our company has been focusing on lab testing our environmental technology. We utilize samples from projects inside jurisdictions with a good grasp of IPM and the appropriate rules to lead field testing after completing required lab work. Early commercial site proposals are expected by YE 2021. To learn more about our operations or how you can invest, contact us today!