Open-pit heap leach mining goes back hundreds of years, but it has seen resurgence thanks to attractive metals prices and updated technologies that allow for the profitable processing of previously mined and once economically unfeasible deposits.
Despite its historically poor image, updated heap leaching processes offer today's mining companies several advantages: It takes relatively low capital costs to bring a mine on-line quickly; it can capitalize on low-grade ores; it often allows for a smaller facility footprint that reduces energy, transportation and environmental reclamation costs; the various chemicals used throughout the process are increasingly recyclable, leaving less waste and lowering consumption costs; and, better pad designs and liners are reducing costly leakages and ground contamination issues.
To little surprise then,...
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