In August 2020, TERRAFAME has launched the first pilot operation of NEMO WP1 in Sotkamo (Finland). The objective is to enhance current bioleaching operation by improving metal recovery (Ni, Cu, Co) from secondary ore. The pilot consists of two aerated heaps (height: 4m, surface: 100 m2). The pilot was halted during the winter season. In May 2021, TERRAFAME has re-started the pilot operation and after one month of irrigation, one heap was inoculated on June 9th with a microbial culture build up from microorganisms provided by BRGM (the French geological survey) and the University of Exeter. The second heap will be used as reference. The pilot operation will be run until October 2022, and the results will contribute to assess the economic and environmental performances of the bioleaching process.
More info on the Terrafame heap bio-leaching pilot here: