A mining organization typically leaves an excavation site only when all recoverable material has been collected. These groups utilize their equipment to the fullest to gather as much of a particular commodity as they can. However, NanoStruck Technologies Inc. is now looking to leverage what these businesses may have left behind with their new water purification system.
NanoStruck recently developed a suite of proprietary nano-biotechnology solutions that removes molecular-sized particles from water, creating drinkable resources. The technology was originally designed as a means to repair issues related to the global water shortage, but the company discovered it can also be used to recover precious metals.
The system uses organic polymers that NanoStruck describes as "nature's very own sponges," which are derived from crustacean shells or plant fibers. When used in the company's NanoPure solution, the compound presents an effective way to remove contaminants and create clean drinking water. The polymers can also be used to separate mine tailings like gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium with NanoStruck's NanoMet system.
Mining contributor Ana Komnenic noted that tests performed at mining sites in Africa demonstrated how the technology could recover more than 80 percent of precious metals present. Currently, NanoStruck is setting up plants in South Africa and Mexico to utilize their solution.
Although the organization estimates that there is roughly $1 trillion in precious metals present in mine tailings, they are not looking to threaten the mining industry with the technology, as it collects what would be nearly impossible for miners to gather.
"We can pull out precious metals from tailings...left behind from the primary mining activities," the company stated. "Things that would not be easy to pull out for a mining company."
Mining organizations looking to collect as much as possible before leaving their tailings can implement equipment monitoring technology to extend the life of their machines. When equipment is an optimal service life level, systems can work harder to collect as much commodity as possible.