EcoSolutions for industrial waste treatment

The global industry generates millions of tons of wastes every day. The wastes such as tailings from mining operations have been accumulated in huge quantities. With the exhaustion of mineral resources the wastes are becoming more and more valuable sources of metals and energy.

InnovEco Australia can provide advanced technological solutions for industrial waste treatment. We use various techniques such as absorption, ion exchange, electrolysis and chemical precipitation. Combination of both physical and chemical methods provides us ith high levels of extraction of valuable elements from a variety of wastes, process water and low grade mining ores. Our solutions are highly cost-effective and minimize environmental impacts from manufacturing and mining operations.


One of the areas of expertise for InnovEco is ion exchange technology. The new technological solutions - continuous ion exchange (IX) processes - have been developed for extraction of metals from both solutions and pulps. We can combine modern ion exchange resins and chemical methods to extract metals from diluted solutions (1-10 ppm level or even lower). Also, our plants can process pulps with up to 50% solids.  

Continuous IX technologies has a number of advantages as compared to the traditional batch systems. Continuous processes provides deeper level of metals extraction. It also produces liquor of higher purity and higher concentration. Economically, continuous processes are more favourable, because they consume less energy, water and chemicals per a product unit, have smaller footprint and possess higher technological flexibility.


Mining and metallurgical wastes

A lot of the base metal and significant amounts of other elements remain in waste after metal extraction by traditional methods. For example, copper production in Chile reached 6 million tonnes in 2009. Around 5% of copper remains in the waste ore or tailings. The recovery of 90% of copper from tailings could produce up to 270,000 t/ year in the value of $2.7 billion.

Metal extraction from non-conventional ores

The existing technologies are often able to process only one type of ores or minerals. For example, molybdenum is currently extracted from sulphides only, while oxides remain in tailings.
Typically molybdenum content in the ores is ~0.04%. The metal extraction rate is ~70 %. The ion exchange would enable to recover more than 90% of molybdenum from the residual oxides.

Extraction of accompanying elements

Metal ores are often complex deposits. For example, the copper leach liquor may contain other base and rare metals such as cobalt, nickel, molybdenum, scandium, rhenium. Concentration of these elements may not be sufficient for their extraction by traditional methods. Ion exchange enables the extraction of the accompanying elements and may add from 10 to 30% to the plant revenue.

Control of impurities in SX/EW process

In the process of copper production by solvent extraction (SX) and electrowinning (EW) some impurities can accumulate in leaching and re-extraction circuits. Such impurities may deteriorate the efficiency of the process and quality of the final product. InnovEco can use ion exchange technology for impurities control. It may significantly increase the efficiency of leaching, extraction and electrowinning processes. Also this solution can recover some accompanying elements (i.e. cobalt).



The implementation of the solutions based on ion exchange technology provides a number of technical, economical and environmental benefits.

Here are some of them:

  • Deeper metal extraction enables mining companies to increase the metal production per tonne of the final product at a fraction of their cost

  • Production of by-product metals add extra profit
  • Processing of wastes and tailings with IX method reduces their environmental impact and may provide some additional benefits - for example water recycling

PDF flyer on Resources Recovery

For more information on resources recovery please visit Ion Exchange Australia



For more information on resources recovery please visit Ion Exchange Australia

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