Solvent extraction to recover metals

Solvent extraction is a valuable technology for recovering a range of metals from solutions. Our team of experts can develop solvent extraction processes, from reagent selection to fully continuous piloting and plant design, for individual feed solutions.

The Challenge

Recovering mined metals from solution

Solvent extraction is an important technology for the separation, purification and recovery of metals, particularly uranium, copper, nickel, cobalt and rare earths, from solutions.

The process uses an organic solution containing a special reagent (extractant) to transport selected metals from one aqueous solution to another, so that metals are separated, purified and recovered.

We can develop customised solvent extraction processes to recover a range of metals.

Factors such as the composition of feed solution and the nature of metal to be purified must be considered when selecting solvent extraction technology.

Our Response

Developing solvent-based extraction processes

In cases where no commercially available extractants are available to economically purify the metal(s) of concern, and the development of a new reagent is prohibitively expensive, our solvent extraction experts have developed synergistic solvent extraction (SSX) technologies by combining two commercially available extractants.

The Results

Customised solutions to increase metal yield

To date, we have successfully developed a number of SSX systems for the recovery of a range of metals including, but not limited to:

  • nickel
  • cobalt
  • copper
  • zinc, cadmium
  • niobium
  • tanatalum.


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