This project aimed at using metagenomics technologies available at the GSC to optimize bacterial induced heap leaching to liberate copper metals. This pilot study has been proposed in the hope of entering into a larger, more comprehensive, and collaborative research Endeavour. The 1st milestone was to identify the bacteria in the mixture used to catalyze the heap leach. Unfortunately, several DNA extractions were unsuccessful (possibly due to the acidic ore environment), and no quantifiable DNA was observed. Consequently, final sequencing analysis has not been finalized.
We can certainly point out that although this project didn’t pan out, the discussions and meetings with the representatives of the mining sector paved the way to other projects where genomics and related technologies could be applied to address challenges to this industry.