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  • Copper mining in Chile / 2022

    German-Chilean consortium investigates new ways of reducing arsenic in copper concentrates

    Research News / August 01, 2022

    Rohkupferschmelze in einem Hochofen.
    © Fraunhofer IWKS

    As the world's largest copper exporter, Chile is encountering a growing number of sulfur-based ore layers containing toxic arsenic in its copper mines. Conventional strategies for separating and landfilling arsenic are proving limited in this area. The German-Chilean project team, led on the German side by the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS, is working towards optimizing and advancing copper production processes so that Chile is able to tackle the problem of arsenic in the most effective, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way going forward.

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  • Finally on site in Santiago de Chile

    Press release / May 03, 2022

    After 2 ½ years in which the ReAK project has been running successfully, the German consortium was finally able to travel to Santiago de Chile for the first time this year in April for a joint project meeting.

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  • Did you know that Chile is the largest copper producer in the world? Copper mining is a very important industry in Chile. However, it also has downsides: During the processing of the mostly sulphidic ores in Chile, large quantities of arsenic, antimony and bismuth are produced. Arsenic in particular is a highly toxic inorganic pollutant that poses a threat not only to human health but to the entire ecosystem. Anna-Lisa from our deparment Biogenic Systems is coordinator of the international research project "ReAK - Reduction of Arsenic in Copper Concentrates". In this video, she explains how the project is going to achieve economic as well as ecologic improvements.

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  • © Shutterstock

    German-Chilean consortium works on the improvement of copper mining processes – economically as well as ecologically With 27 % of the global production, Chile is the largest producer and the world´s largest exporter of copper. This makes copper mining one of the country’s most important ex-port revenues. However, it also brings significant economical as well as ecological challenges.

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