In situ metal recovery (ISMR) has long been viewed as an ideal future technology for the mining industry, but one that does not appear to be feasible in the near term. However, in situ solution recovery methods have been applied commercially to the recovery of uranium, halite and trona. ISMR has been previously trialled for copper and gold but has not led to development of an economically viable technology. Recovery of metals through ISMR without physical mining and subsequent mineral processing has obvious cost, process and environmental benefits. There are however, significant questions (financial, commercial and technical) to be answered and hurdles to overcome in order to make the process technically and economically viable. This Roadmap is designed to identify these questions and hurdles, and to provide a contextualizing framework towards solving these issues.
Mr John Visser