A novel biotreatment technology for sustainable metal extraction from low-grade ores, tailings and WEEE

Industry: BioTech

Country: Estonia


BiotaTec developed BiotaMet, a novel 2-step bio-leaching solution for mining/metallurgy and recycling industries, to achieve maximum valorisation of low-grade ores, tailings, wastes and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). It uses a unique combination of heterotrophic microorganisms and methanogens, that have been adapted to biodegrade and extract metal compounds from metal ores.


The process is highly efficient, works at neutral pH, generates clean waste and simultaneously produces methane gas for energy generation. The 2-steps of the process feed each other for material and heat energy making the process self-sufficient. It reduces the dependence on high-grade metal ores, and is able to achieve metal yield rates of 86-97% (compared to 70-80% for using traditional methods) with low-grade ores and wastes.


BiotaMet is expected to reduce the energy requirement of metal extraction by 40% and provide additional annual revenue estimation of > €7.3 million for mining companies and > €5 million for WEEE recycling companies.