Experts from diverse disciplines come together at the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources to forge game changing solutions critically important to modern mineral resources management.
The collective expertise at the University Arizona produces new discoveries and technologies to support and advance all aspects of the mining industry – with new isotopes for geochronology… fundamental understanding of ore deposit formation… mineral liberation analysis…advanced separation technology… rock softening to save energy... autonomous vehicles… gaming software for safety training... gray water for mineral flotation… integrated operations centers… mine reclamation science.
These specialists are integrating previously separate segments of mining and improving management across the entire value chain – from mineral identification and extraction, to processing and distributing metals for a global market, through safe and efficient workforce development and responsible reclamation. This gives us the best-practice big picture.
Our IT backbones, business-intelligence solutions, data-mining expertise and safety research – coupled with new tools for geology, geomechanics, rock-face sensing, fragmentation analysis, processing technologies that save water and energy, and sustainability indicators – allow us to simulate operations and find ways to improve safe production and decrease costs. This is the new face of mining.
The projects in the Lowell Institute cross 27 different disciplines and 10 colleges at the University of Arizona. Many are in collaboration with colleagues at other universities around the world.
Lowell Program in Economic Geology
- field-based, worldwide, cordilleran settings
- hydrothermal systems, magmatic to basinal
Regional 4D Transects
- field and lab-based new observations and synthesis
- Nevada Au(Cu), Laramide Cu(Mo), Chile Cu(Au-Fe)
- basis for consortium
- mineralogy and trace element geochemistry
- structural geology, especially extensional settings
- hydrothermal geochemistry, alteration, fluids
- arc evolution and crustal mass transfer
Raina Maier, Jim Field, and Julie Neilson
- Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in Arid Environments Metal Specialization in Arid Mine Tailings
- Rosemont Revegetation – Planning Ahead
- Binational Copper Mine Tailings Native Plant Inventory Project
- Mine Site Revegetation
- Fate and speciation of metal(oids)
- Groundwater protection
- Dust characterization and wind modeling
- 4D autonomous environmental monitoring systems
Processing and Extractive Metallurgy
Brent Hisky, Jinhong Zhang, Isabel Barton
- Silver Hydrometallurgy
- Leaching with Lead Nitrate (Pb(NO3)2)
- Acantite (Ag2S) and other silver sulfides leaching
- Leaching behavior in anaerobic conditions
- Bioleaching – mesophiles and extreme thermophiles
- Alternative Lixiviants –Thiosulfate, Thiocyanate, Thiourea
- Intensive and silver cyanidation
- LIX and amine extractants
- Ammonia leaching
- Rare Earths
- Re-use of mine tailings
- Atomic force microscopy for flotation optimization
- Geometallurgy – ore characterization, mineralogy