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Laurentian researcher aiding in Ecuadorian bioleaching project

Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk of Sudbury’s Vale Living with Lakes Centre will assist in a research project studying the use of bacteria in cleaning up metals.
A flotation pond at Ponce Enrique in Ecuador will be the site of bioleaching testing by BacTech Environmental. BacTech photo

The Vale Living with Lakes Centre in Sudbury is teaming up with BacTech Environmental on a bioleaching project in Ecuador.

Toronto-based BacTech plans to use naturally occurring bacteria to try to draw out base metals and stabilize arsenic found in historic tailings. The work will take place at flotation plants in the Ponce Enrique area of Ecuador.

BacTech’s Dr. Paul Miller, vice-president of metallurgy and a leading expert in bioleaching, will guide the Laurentian study. Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk of Living with Lakes will oversee work on behalf of Laurentian.

Mykytczuk’s work focuses on using bioleaching technology for improved metal recovery and remediation of mine wastes.

Vale Living with Lakes Centre is a Sudbury-based research offshoot of Laurentian University. BacTech Environmental is an environmental technology company based in Toronto.

The study is expected to take between four and six months. Results will be used to inform the design of a bioleach plant in Ponce Enrique.