In situ leaching

The Reactive Hydrodynamics group is working on in situ leaching, a technique used in mining industry to extract specific metals out of minerals present in a deposit. This technique consists in setting a flow of leaching liquid, generally an acid solution, so as to best go through the deposit. This process, which involves a coupling between the hydrodynamic transfer and the geochemical reactions, is the main topic of the activity of the group which has launched further projects :

  • study by modelling of the exploitation of "roll-front" type uranium deposits, in collaboration with Areva (two Ph.D. theses under way) ;
  • expertise of a copper mining exploitation by (in situ and heap) leaching in Zambia (Mopani Copper Mine).

The use of modelling in mining processes is rather new and enables the optimization of the copper production chain (leaching and solvent extraction) in Mufulira mines, Zambia.

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