Proponents behind the re-invigoration of one of Australia’s most historic copper mines hope the new push to extract remaining reserves becomes a showcase in Australia’s mining sector for the extraction method known as ‘In Situ Recovery’ or ISR.
Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR) said it hoped the Company’s drive to bring new commercial mining to the former Kapunda copper mining precinct in South Australia’s mid north, would demonstrate ISR as an economic and socially acceptable form of copper and gold recovery from stranded resources.
The Company completed successful drilling to carry out further hydrogeological and mineralogical testing in the past two weeks under a broader ISR research initiative which has attracted leading minerals, land and water, geophysics and mining engineering scientists to the landmark work.
“Broader adoption of this extractive method can potentially lead to significant benefits for the mining industry, particularly as a much safer and more environmentally acceptable way of extracting profitable mineralisation from ore bodies currently not economical for conventional mining or facing social licence operating issues,” said ECR Managing Director, Mr Leon Faulkner.
ECR has concentrated the research work at the Kapunda project to optimise fracture and flow modelling, lixiviant selection – a liquid medium used in hydrometallurgy to selectively extract the desired metal from the ore or mineral and addressing modern day environmental and social issues.
Mr Faulkner said a large selection of potential substances to extract Kapunda’s remaining copper and gold reserves was under assessment.