Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources

Mary Poulton, head of the University of Arizona's Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, described some of the 27 research projects today underway in the newly established Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, funded by Science Foundation Arizona and partners. [right, Jinhong Zhang, assistant professor of mining and geological engineering, injects just a few drops of chemical into a copper collection tank to create a layer of fine bubbles. The process brings copper particles to the surface for collection]

One of the projects involves replacing the use of fresh water with non-potable effluent or brine during copper recovery from ore and "still manage the chemistry without throwing away too much of the copper."

"We think the UA is really unique in the world in terms of the depth and breadth of environmental people on campus," Mary said. "It's let us put mining into a much broader context in terms of sustainable resource development."

[Taken in part from a UA news summary]

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