Global chemical company BASF and nanobubble-technology specialist Moleaer have begun an exclusive partnership aimed at combining the two companies’ expertise in mineral processing, hydrometallurgy, gas transfer, and nanobubble technology to develop innovative processes for mining. The initial aim is to target the copper leaching process and improve extraction rates of copper ores containing high levels of chalcopyrite, which have historically been difficult to leach.

BASF claims that, based on test work it has conducted, Moleaer’s nanobubble technology improves the extraction process of valuable metals such as copper. When combined with BASF’s LixTRA reagent, the mineral recovery rates and efficiencies are compounded, especially in sulphide-based ores like chalcopyrite.

Caren Hoffman, who leads the global mining solutions business at BASF, said, “Technological improvements and collaborations like the one we announced today are essential if the industry is to maximize the recovery of copper at existing mines. By combining BASF’s LixTRA reagent, allowing greater ore-lixiviant contact, together with Moleaer’s nanobubble technology to facilitate a higher oxidative environment, we offer technology to the industry to significantly increase copper recoveries.”