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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: July 17th 2003

:: Xerion Signs Slag Reclamation Agreement  

Canadian technology company Xerion EcoSolutions has signed an agreement for the reclamation of a smelter slag project in Arizona using its own technology.

The agreement allows Xerion six months to perform tests on the slag to validate the reported mineral content before proceeding into production on a 50:50 joint venture basis. The exact location and the current owners cannot be announced under confidentiality terms.

The project consists of the recovery of minerals residing in smelter slag from an out of production copper operation, most recently operated by Phelps Dodge. The smelter was last operated over forty years when technologies of the day did not allow for economic recovery of all the elements.

Xerion will use its leaching technology, Xerion Reaction System which can release and recover any targeted element. It can also neutralise and remove elements which are harmful to the environment.

Xerion said the slag consists of at least 35 million tons of surface material containing economically recoverable minerals including 6.16 million ounces of gold, 14.8Moz of silver, 280 million pounds of copper, 20.8 billion pounds of iron, 1.4 billion pounds of zinc and 25.2 billion pounds of silica.

Once the data has been validated Xerion said it would be obligated to fulfill its commitment to process the slag and recover the minerals. The reclamation and recovery project is expected to last up to 10 years.

Xerion will provide the capital and initial operational expenses for the project and will need to acquire funding to put this project into production.

"The economics of our patent-pending XRS leach process have yet to be validated on a production scale," Xerion chief executive Ben Traub said.

"We are pleased that this slag reclamation project provides us with an opportunity to do this."



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