Locus Mining Solutions is a division of cleantech company Locus Fermentation Solutions and based in Texas. The start-up is recognized in the 2022 Excellence Awards in the Environmental, Innovation and Product Launches categories.
The company is recognised for its efforts in targeting two of the industry’s biggest problems, (i) the need to increase yields to satisfy demands and (ii) to ensure that any such processes are not harmful to the environment.
The solution is an innovation in the form of biosurfactant additives, which can be added to existing extraction processes in order to boost the mineral output from low-grade ores. To highlight the extent of this increase in yield, in a test on copper the additives led to a 90.9% increase in the amount of acid-insoluble copper extracted.
The company is recognized for its efforts in targeting two of the industry’s biggest problems, the need to increase yields to satisfy demands and to ensure that any such processes are not harmful to the environment
Two examples of how the additives work are in froth flotation processes, where their selectivity increases the level of mineral rising in the froth; and in leaching where the biosurfactants penetrate further into the pores leading to higher yields.
The other key advantage of the process is the environmental impact. The use of additives in an extraction process, the company claims, can lead to a reduction in emissions to the tune of 40% less carbon dioxide, 70% less sulfur oxide and 70% less nitrogen oxide.
Locus Mining Solutions addresses the critical need for sustainable mining techniques that can extract more minerals and metals in an environmentally friendly way. The company develops carbon-neutral, 100% renewable-sourced biosurfactant additives that unlock stranded minerals and metals traditional extraction processes can’t reach.
The clean energy transition requires massive amounts of minerals and metals with demand quickly exceeding supply. Locus Mining Solutions’ novel biosurfactant additives boost extraction, especially from low-grade ores. The ESG-friendly molecules are part of the next generation of mining reagents that help mining companies achieve sustainability goals faster, with higher profitability.
In initial lab studies on copper, Locus Mining Solutions’ biosurfactant additives enabled better extraction and higher recoveries—including 83% more insoluble copper. The novel regents can be utilized in diverse processes of ore beneficiation, including flotation, leaching, filtration, thickening, flocculation, and dewatering. More applications are in development to improve mining operations worldwide.