Working with a number of collaborators, this project attempts to identify conditions where copper leaching can be optimised for low grade ores.
CAMIC has a long history of innovation minerals science, with or main research areas being copper and uranium.
This work has been supported by two recent linkage projects and multiple direct research contracts with industry.
CAMIC has a dedicated radiation lab where leaching and characterisation studies on both natural and synthetic minerals takes place, as well as a recent initiation in to studies on rare earth minerals.
These studies have taken place with CSIRO and BHP Billiton, and included new exploration of the bioleaching of uranium.
The last 5 years have seen an expansion in to copper chemistry, with the close collaboration of Rio Tinto, Murdoch University, CSIRO and Monash University.
We have developed an understanding of the surface chemistry of copper ores using scanning electrochemical microscopy, and identified conditions where copper leaching can be optimised in a heap leach for low grade ores.
This work is leading to sustainable mining of refractory copper ores through significant gains in fundamental leaching and passivation mechanisms.
PhD positions available
Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Lathe Jones for possible candidature/collaboration.
- N Faris, R Ram, M Chen, J Tardio; M Pownceby, Lathe Jones, SMcMaster, Nathan Webster, Suresh K Bhargava, The effect of thermal pre-treatment on the dissolution of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) in sulfuric acid media, Hydrometallurgy, (2017), 169,. 68. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304386X1630963X
- Bhargava, S. K., R. Ram, M. Pownceby, S. Grocott, B. Ring, J. Tardio and L. Jones (2015). "A review of acid leaching of uraninite." Hydrometallurgy 151: 10-24. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304386X14002308
- Yang, Y.,Weihua, L.,Bhargava, S.,Zeng, W.,Chen, M. (2016). A XANES and XRD study of chalcopyrite bioleaching with pyrite In: Minerals Engineering, 89, 157 – 162. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892687516300176