To make similar additional innovative measures feasible, Hindustan Copper has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IMMT, which contemplates joint research and development programmes.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Mr Satish C. Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Copper Limited and Dr B.K. Misra, Director, IMMT. IMMT is engaged in R&D on development of energy efficient and eco-friendly processes among others for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of mineral resources and mineral wastes.
In bio-leaching, a heap of low grade ore is inoculated with a group of bacteria to yield the leach liquor. This is then processed through solvent extraction and electro-winning to get 99.98 per cent pure copper. Extraction of copper from low-grade ores is otherwise quite a costly proposition.
R & D
A company press note says that besides the low grade ore of Hindustan Copper Limited's Malanjkhand Copper Project in Madhya Pradesh, a lot of R&D work on bioleaching of lagoon material at its Khetri Copper Complex (KCC) in Rajasthan has also been completed.
Around 22 per cent copper recovery was observed in column leaching in 26 days using the thermophilic bacteria isolated from KCC. IMMT has also handed over a typical sample of copper cathode produced from Malanjkhand Copper Project's low-grade ore. This MoU will open up new vistas for both Hindustan Copper Limited and IIMT to jointly explore the possibilities of research and innovation with thrust on energy conservation, mineral processing and environment management.
Research body to help in getting metal from chalcopyrite