Natural Resource Canada has set aside funds for a mineral extraction research and development project that, applied at commercial scale, will help reduce emissions and water use while lowering costs for companies, it said.
The project, being carried out by Vancouver’s Jetti Services Canada Inc (Jetti Resources), will develop a more energy-efficient process to extract copper from regular- and lower-grade ores, as well as waste mining materials and tailings, according to the NRC.
Jetti Resources calls itself a technology-driven natural resources company that has developed a novel hydrometallurgical technology to extract metals of value from mineral ores that the mining industry has struggled to process.
“The Jetti technology is especially advantaged for extracting copper from low-grade primary sulphides, the world’s most abundant copper resource,” it said. “The catalytic technology seamlessly integrates with existing heap leaching methods and downstream processing operations.”
According to the company, the technology requires low capital expenditure, operating costs and enables high copper yields. It also has a strong environmental profile, “leading to lower criteria emissions and water usage along with the maximisation of resources at existing copper deposits.”
The NRC, through its C$155 million Clean Growth Program, agreed to invest C$492,500 ($377,261) in the project, while Innovate BC, a Crown corporation that helps accelerate technology commercialisation by supporting startups and developing entrepreneurs in British Columbia, also committed C$150,000 to the project.
Funding for the clean technology project was announced during the 2019 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC), held in Cranbrook, British Columbia, taking place on July 15-17, where ministers from federal, provincial and territorial governments are meeting under the theme, ‘Competitiveness and Innovation in Canada’s Energy and Mining Sectors.’
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said: “The Government of Canada continues to invest in projects that are positioning Canada’s mining industry to lead the clean energy future. Through strong government partnerships and a commitment to innovation, we are building the sustainable and competitive mining industry of tomorrow.”