Copper Recovery + Recycling White Paper

A legacy mine discovers how ElectraMet provides a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for copper recovery and recycling from its complex process water stream.

Project Background

HDR and ElectraMet™ worked together to investigate the potential of using ElectraMet, a chemical- free water treatment platform, to remove and recover copper from residual process mine water. HDR was investigating effective ways to recover copper. Typically, selective copper removal is difficult because such process water contain a complex mixture of metals, salts, and minerals. Using the ElectraMet process operating at a 95% overall duty cycle, we demonstrated:

  • 99.994% copper removal from Cu mine process water
  • 99.8% water recovery

Depending on the operating conditions, we found that the ElectraMet process cost for copper recovery would be between $2 and $0.25 per pound. [The process cost for copper recovery would start at $2 per pound for small scale and lab environments and could reach as low as $0.25 in full-scale production.] Even at the $2 per pound cost range, the ElectraMet process would deliver an ROI of $0.67 per pound [a 33% ROI] based on the current value of copper. This study demonstrates that Electramet is an attractive option for metals recovery and recycling.

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