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There are 280 billion tons of mining waste. This startup is putting it to good use

Adele Peters of Fast Company reports on a startup that is repurposing mining waste.

The C3 Take
  • When extracting one or two metals, mines will leave behind mining waste called “tailings,” which contain precious metals in the form of sludge or crushed rocks.
  • Phoenix Tailings, a Boston-based startup, has found a way to gather the metals in tailings using a water-based mining process and electric separation.
  • The company has successfully used its process to re-mine neodymium at a pilot plant and is working with the Department of Energy to carbon-negatively extract nickel.
  • Free market innovation is creating clean energy and environmental progress.

“Now, it’s working to partner with mining companies that want to get rid of waste (and potentially, in some cases, remediate old mining land so that it can have other uses, like a park). It’s also targeting old mines where waste has been sitting for decades—or even as long ago as the 1880s. Because it starts with waste,and doesn’t have to invest in drilling into the earth,the cost of the final materials can compete with minerals from polluting mines in China and other countries.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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