Bioextraction is the intersection of Biotechnology and Extractive Metallurgy
Derived from the Greek word “lithos” for rock and “X” for extraction, LithX powers our Bioextraction process. At the intersection of biotechnology and extractive metallurgy, Maverick BioMetals is pioneering the next generation of biomining technology.
THE MAVERICK METHOD
Superior whole-cell and cell-free processes that are easier to control and implement than traditional biomining.
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 is engineering two applications for our LithX process:
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 biomining is inefficient and uses naturally occurring microbes in unideal conditions.
Traditional biomining uses microbes that were found naturally occurring on the mine sites. These microbes evolved to break down rocks and use the metals inside as food sources. This is great for the microbes in nature, but in an industrial mining environment, the microbes become slow, ineffective, and extremely hard to work with.
Keeping these microbes – extremophiles and obligate anaerobes – alive is difficult. They evolved to live in harsh conditions underground, not in leaching heaps. Additionally, these microbes evolved over millions of years to break down only specific types of rocks for specific metals – they aren’t easily changed.
The Bioextraction Process
Standard crushing and grinding to reduce ore size and increase surface area.
Ground ore and LithX 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.