Reducing the environmental footprint and carbon intensity of mining operations using industrial biotechnology

Mining Microbiome, Extraction, Copper, North America,

The carbon costs of acid mine drainage

The mining industry in Canada contributes roughly $100 billion to our nation’s nominal GDP and accounts for nearly 20% of exports each year and employs close to 620,000 Canadians. It is also the largest private employer of Indigenous Canadians. Yet, all these positives are negated by its large environmental footprint. The mining industry generates over 12 megatons (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, which is about 2% of the national total2.

We critically analysed the entire value chain of mining and the GHG emissions of each step and we subsequently determined that innovation in waste management offers the easiest path and greatest potential for reducing the carbon intensity of mining operations.

The use of engineered biological systems to treat Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)

We are developing novel bioprocesses employing engineered microorganisms for management of AMD that will reduce waste, save costs and recover value for mining companies. The use of engineered biological systems in precisely controlled bioprocesses allows us to harness and scale highly effective, carbon-negative, natural chemistries for treating mineral waste.

Mining Microbiome Theme Successfully Launches with Webinar

On July 29th, 2020, the Mining Microbiome theme officially launched with their successful webinar Biotechnology for Exploration, Extraction, and Remediation. The webinar featured Dr. Steven Hallam, Dr. Rachel Simister, Robert Greene, Dr. Vikram Yadav, and Dr. Sue Baldwin from the University of British Columbia. They spoke about the opportunities and expertise available utilizing microorganisms within... Read more »

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