The Arizona College of Engineering in Tucson, along with the school’s Tech Launch Arizona, launched start-up group Auxilium Technology Group (ATG) in late January with the goal of making mining more sustainable while reducing its environmental footprint.
ATG will examine sustainable solutions such as water usage and pollution, ore leaching, energy consumption and more to potentially license inventions. Many of the research done at the school is commercialized by TLA; three of those technologies have been licensed to the new start-up.
They include a leaching process using organosulfur compound thiourea instead of cyanide to extract gold with 98% efficiency; a system of floating, interlocking panels that cover tailings ponds to reduce evaporation and increase available reusable water; and a spray-on thermal insulating geofoam made from mine tailings.
“Where others see waste, we see opportunity,” said Abraham Jalbout, ATG chief executive officer. “We are bringing together these technologies from the different people on the team, and we’re putting them together in a circuit to create a holistic approach to tailings management, which makes a very unique value proposition in the tailings world.”