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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: July 24th 2002


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:: Haib Deal for BacTech-Mintek

BachTech Enviromet Corp. of Canada and Mintek of South Africa have signed a 'heads of agreement' to exploit the Haib copper deposit in Namibia. BachTech-Mintek proprietary in-heap bioleaching technology will be used. The two companies have successfully demonstrated their stirred-tank bioleaching technology for the treatment of ehalcopyrite concentrates with Industrias Penoles SA de CV of Mexico, and have also been collaborating with a number of other international copper producers on the in-heap bioleaching of lower-grade ehalcopyrite ores. The process design at Haib will follow the bioleaching with conventional solvent-extraction and electrowinning to produce LME Grade A copper cathode on site.

Haib is located 3 km from the Orange River near Noordoewer.Resources are reported at 300 Mt averaging 0.41% Cu (or 1, 000 Mt at 0.19% Cu at a lower cut-off grade). If the in-heap bioleaching technology proves successful on this scale, the project could pave the way for the technology to be widely used, as many of the world's known undeveloped copper resources comprise low-grade ehalcopyrite deposits.




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