Earth has been providing us with many things we need to make sure our lives can go well. For example, in terms of mineral, we have been mining for a long time. It can even be said that mining has become the part of human’s history and it’s still going on until now. Furthermore, mining seems to have no end because the demands for mineral products will keep on going on as well. To name some of the minerals we need for our lives, well, we can mention gold, nickel, silver, uranium, and many others. If you’re interested in the process of those minerals being mined, to be honest, the modern process has been actually a lot more advanced than how it was done in the past.
You need to know that basically the process of extracting the minerals or metals from the ore has been done for centuries. However, in the past, the process was not really that effective and viable. According to the experts, the methods in the past were really ineffective because they couldn’t optimally extract the minerals and the metals despite the big investment that needed to be done for such processes. But, then, in the last 40 years, the method in extracting the metals and the minerals has been refined. It’s now known as heap leaching which is also called as leach mining. The basic of this method is to involve oxidizing process to extract what’s contained in the ore. And it’s proven to be a lot much more effective.
In addition to the better efficiency, this method is also a lot much more affordable but as the result, it’s more viable. If in the past, the low grade ores were considered as waste rocks which means that they can’t be processed any further, with heap leaching, it’s possible to process those ores. Therefore, more results are gained. Even further about the heap leaching method, as a matter of fact, there are several more specific processes which can be done. For instance, impact sprinklers method. This method was quite popular back in the 90s where the heaps were irrigated by using the sprinklers. But then, this method was valued to be quite harmful for the environment and thus, the drip-irrigation system was introduced to replace the impact sprinklers.
Up to this recent time, drip-irrigation is basically the most preferred method to deal with mineral recovery and extraction. The rendering process done throughout the process is more precise. At the same time, the distribution of the uniform solution to the heap is also well-maintained. As the outcome, over-saturation potential can be reduced and then the channeling of the solution can also be minimized. Such conditions were basically the issued with sprinkler system but they are none with drip-irrigation. However, it doesn’t mean there’s no challenges at all when drip-irrigation is applied. All irrigation system surely has its own drawbacks and nothing is perfect in this world. Drip-irrigation has shown that it has some clogging potentials which can really hamper the extraction process wholly. But, such situation can actually be taken care of by relying on the specifically designed product for mining grade.