Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 18 No. 6 December 2008|
An integrated project for developing biohydrometallurgy in Europe —Executive summary of its activities and outputs after three years
（BRGM-EPI/Eco, 3, Avenue C. Guillemin - BP 6009, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France）
Abstract:Biohydrometallurgy is the offspring of the unexpected union of biotechnology and metallurgy. From specific properties of some extreme biotopes, active principles of interactions between microbial metabolisms and minerals have been extracted to be used as efficient metallurgical processes. Many profitable industrial operations based on these bioprocesses have been running to recover copper, gold, uranium or cobalt for instance and many other applications have been designed. Europe was quite active in this area in the past, but currently the leadership is in South Africa, America and Australia. BioMinE (Biotechnology of Metal-bearing material In Europe) is a large integrated project launched with the support of the European Commision. It is aimed at stimulating synergies between the most relevant universities, research and industrial organizations to develop new concepts in this technical field that allow a better exploitation of the mineral resources in the future. The European non-ferrous metals mining industry has initiated and developed the BioMinE project as they identified the need to find new processes for metal extraction from resources of today and of tomorrow.
Key words: biohydrometallurgy; BioMinE project; biotechnology