Next Generation Extractive Metallurgy
Derived from the Greek word “lithos” for rock and “X” for extraction, LithxTM powers our extraction process. At the intersection of biotechnology and extractive metallurgy, Maverick BioMetals is pioneering mineral processing and metal extraction technologies.
Superior whole-cell and cell-free processes that are easy to control and implement.
Designed by synthetic biologists and geologists for superior performance, our microbes are engineered specifically for peak performance towards the bioextraction of metals from a particular ore. We engineer the microbes to fit the mine.
Maverick BioMetals is engineering two applications for LithX:
1. A closed talk system that optimizes the conditions for modified heap leaching increasing yields and decreasing extraction times.
2. An in-situ process that allows for ore solubilization underground and efficient extraction of dissolved metal ions without the need for open pit mining.
Traditional extraction techniques are inefficient, energy intensive, and hazardous.
Acid roasting, a traditional metal extraction method involving the heating of ores in the presence of acids, carries numerous negative consequences for the environment and human health. It releases harmful gases, contributes to pollution, and generates toxic byproducts. Additionally, these techniques produce significant waste, polluting land and water. Sustainable alternatives are urgently needed to mitigate these negative impacts.
Alternative extraction methods include traditional biomining, which relies on naturally occurring microbes found on mine sites, which have evolved to extract metals from rocks as a food source. However, in industrial mining settings, these microbes prove slow, inefficient, and challenging to handle. Preserving extremophiles and obligate anaerobes, the types of microbes used, presents difficulties as they are adapted to survive in harsh underground conditions rather than leaching heaps.
Standard crushing and grinding to reduce ore size and increase surface area.
Ground ore and LithxTM enzyme combined in a water tank for degradation.
Each piece of the ore — nonmetallic and metallic — is selectively removed for commercial use.
Imagine a mining world where we don’t need to dig an open pit to extract metals. In-situ extraction is the next frontier of mining that simplifies extraction, reduces cost, mitigates environmental damage, and increases worker safety. In-situ mining is a paradigm shift from traditional mining in reducing costs and decreasing time from min inception to operation.
Minimal surface disturbance with a small recovery well surrounded by multiple injection wells.
Fracture Ore Body
Targeted fracturing to increase surface area of the ore body.
The LithX solution is pumped in the fractured ore body.
Dissolved ore is recovered as a liquid solution and pumped back surface.
The dissolved ore and metal ions are separated above ground.