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MEI Online: MEI Conferences: Biohydrometallurgy '12: Introduction

Home General Introduction Conference Report Conference Programme Published Papers Delegate List Photos Biohydromet 14  


This, the 6th International Symposium on Biohydrometallurgy (Biohydromet '12), was organised by MEI with Prof Sue Harrison, Dr Patrick d'Hugues and Dr Chris Bryan and was sponsored by ProMine and FLSmidth. Media Sponsors were International Mining.


Themes of Biohydromet '12

Biohydromet '12 focueds on the latest developments in the field of biohydrometallurgy: the development, optimisation and application of integrated biomining process operations for mineral ores, including low grade and complex ores; the microbiology of biomining and the application of biohydrometallurgy to novel resources (such as mine and electronic wastes) and the (bio)remediation of mining-impacted environments.

1. Biomining Process Development:

  • Development and optimisation of biohydrometallurgy processes, including sub-processes of biohydrometallurgy, reactor systems, hydrodynamics and modeling
  • Associated Unit operations, Up- and Downstream processing (including waste management) etc.

2. The Microbiology of Biomining:

  • Microbial ecology and succession, both description and kinetics
  • Microbial consortia and bioprospecting,
  • Certain fundamental aspects.

3. Biohydrometallurgy Applications:

  • Biomining (i.e. Bioleaching, Biooxidation) applications - both heap and tank
  • Novel and potential resources (e.g. electronic and other metallic wastes)
  • Bioremediation applications (e.g. the treatment, prevention and prediction of AMD, metal recovery from wastes etc.)
  • Other biotechnologies in mining and metallurgical industries.

delegates on the coastal walk
Delegates on the coastal walk


Keynote Lectures

The keynote lecture "Microbial attachment, colonisation and activity as key steps in establishing the desired microbial community for attaining a well functioning heap" was presented by Prof Sue Harrison, of the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Sue Harrison
Sue Harrison


The second keynote lecture "Talvivaara Nickel Mine ­ from a project to a mine" was presented by Marja Riekkola-Vanhanen, who is the Senior Technology Adviser for the Talvivaara Mining Company, Finland.

Marja has had much experience in the bioleaching of base metals in heaps and reactors, biological treatment of acid mine drainage and industrial waste waters, mining related environmental issues, best available techniques in non-ferrous metals industry and development of metal extraction processes.

Marja Riekkola-Vanhanen
Marja Riekkola-Vanhanen


The 3rd keynote lecture "High Temperature Bioleaching" was given by Dr. Paul Norris, of the University of Warwick, UK. His main research interest since the mid 1970s has been the microbiology of mineral sulfide oxidation by acidophilic microorganisms.

Paul Norris
Paul Norris



Biohydromet '12 was organised by MEI in consultation with with Prof Sue Harrison, Dr Patrick d'Hugues and Dr Chris Bryan.

Sue Harrison
Sue Harrison

Sue Harrison has some 20 years experience in research in bioprocess engineering, gained in the industrial and academic arenas. She heads the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER) at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and collaborates actively with researchers at the universities of Mumbai, Cambridge University and Imperial College London and with companies in South Africa and abroad. Since her appointment to the academic staff in 1991 more than 40 MSc and PhD students have been awarded research degrees under her supervision. She was awarded the South African DST Research Chair in Bioprocess Engineering, with effect from 2008.

Patrick d'Hugues
Patrick d'Hugues

Patrick d'Hugues is a microbiologist with a PhD in industrial and applied microbiology. He is currently manages a research team on Waste and Raw Materials at BRGM, the French Geological Survey. Over the last 15 years he has worked on R&D projects dedicated to biotechnology applications on mineral resources and for the environment. He was involved as a technical expert during the commissioning of the KCCL cobalt bioleaching plant (Uganda), and has been involved as a project manager coordinating the EU-funded FP6 Bioshale project (2004-2008). He is currently a project manager of a workpackage on ecoefficient production methods in the FP7 Promine project.

Chris Bryan
Chris Bryan

Chris Bryan is a microbiologist with a PhD in molecular and environmental microbiology and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Curtin University (Australia). His primary research focus is on the application of biohydrometallurgy to the recovery of metals from sulfide ores and the genesis of acid mine drainage. He has gained invaluable experience working with various research groups around the world including postdoctoral positions at BRGM with Dr d’Hugues as part of the BioMinE project, and most recently with Prof. Harrison at CeBER.


Past Conferences

"I found my participation at BioHydromet 05 to have been beneficial and am looking forward to Reagents 06. I would like to add that I really liked the "small family approach" very much."
Peter Raine, Strategist, Engen Chemicals


Read the conference reports from past BioHydromet conferences, and check out the technical programmes and delegate lists too:


"The conference [BioHydromet 05] afforded me the opportunity to meet international experts in the field of biohydrometallurgy and I was able to receive clear directions on my on-going research"
Peter Olubambi, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria

More testimonials


Continuing Professional Development

Biohydromet '12 was certified for Continuing Professional Development.




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