Bioleaching is frequently used in cooper and gold mining. Metals are recovered from low grade ores by chemical and bacterial treatment. The amount of metals being produced by this process is continously increasing on the world markets. The growing demand for bioleaching is partially caused by a continously decreasing availability of rich ores. Conventional pyrometallurgy treatment demands a high energy input and is therefore often not economically viable for low-grade ore. Thus bioleaching is a real alternative to traditional mining.
Incineration slag (bottom ash) is comparable to low-grade ores in regards to their metal content. In co-operation with the University of Tuebingen we initiated a project focusing on the transfer leaching methods from ores to incineration slag.
Ever since, Novis has specialised on biotic and non-biotic processes for the treatment of incineration residues. Our know-how also comprises hydrometallurgy to recover the metals from the leaching liquids.