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MEI Online: Biotechnology: Latest News: June 11th 2002


Click for more info on Biomining '21

:: New biotech alliance for Codelco  

The world's largest copper producer, Corporacion del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), and one of the world's largest producers of refined copper, Nippon Mining and Metals Co. Ltd, have formed a joint-venture company to develop biotechnology for use in the mining and metals sector. Codelco will contribute US$2 million and Nippon Mining US$1 million to the new company, which will be called BioSigma SA. The company will focus its activities on the development of technologies for the processing of low-grade copper ores, and the recovery of metals from materials such as electronic scrap. The global rights for the marketing of any technologies that might be developed will be held by the joint venture.

This agreement emphasises Codelco's commitment to developing biotechnology. The company, in partnership with the BHP Billiton group, recently decided to proceed with the development of a 20,000 t/y project to produce cathode from low-grade sulphide copper ore using bioleaching.



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