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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Latest News: May 14th 2008


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:: Pacific Ore’s BioHeap Pilot Exceeds Expectations

Pacific Ore, the company that developed the patented BioHeap leaching process, has reported that copper recovery rates from its Huogeqi pilot plant, in Inner Mongolia, are exceeding expectations.

The Huogeqi project is a 50/50 joint venture with Western Mining Joint Stock Company, which is Shanghai-listed and one of China’s largest base metals mining and smelting companies.

The 4,000 tonne Huogeqi plant opened in June 2007 with the aim of establishing whether BioHeap bacterial leaching technology can economically heap leach copper from chalcopyrite ore, which is known to be very difficult to leach in a heap environment.

The plant produced its first saleable copper in April 2008, and Pacific Ore has reported that the cumulative copper recovery as at 6 May 2008 was 38%, which is around 15% above expectation for this stage of the plant’s operation.

The company’s managing director, Garry Frere, has announced that plans for commercial development could now be brought forward.

The BioHeap process has taken around ten years to develop and has the potential to be applied to refractory gold ores.




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