Hydrometallurgical Production of Domestic Metals for Energy Transition

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New York, New York
Project Term:
02/24/2023 - 02/23/2026

Technology Description:

Columbia University (Columbia) will use innovative processes to enable increased domestic production of energy-relevant metals from CO2-reactive minerals at potentially lower costs than the state of the art. The work will focus on feedstocks from the Tamarack Project, leading to domestic production of nickel, copper, and cobalt and smaller amounts of platinum, palladium, and gold. Activities will leverage Columbia’s hydrometallurgical leach technologies for these minerals. The technology has significantly lower environmental impacts and may enable economic recovery of off-specification concentrates that are not accepted for smelting. This ex-situ processing will have no impact on the CO2-reactive capacities of waste rock and may improve the capacity of tailings for carbonation. Columbia will explore the application to other mineral processing opportunities.

Potential Impact:

The MINER program aims to use the reactive potential of CO2-reactive ore materials to decrease mineral processing energy and increase the yield of energy-relevant minerals via novel negative emission technologies.


MINER metrics meet the U.S. need for net-zero, commercial-ready technologies that provide energy-relevant minerals for economic and national security.


In addition to demonstrating carbon negativity, the proposed technologies will quantify and reduce our impact on environmental and human health by addressing ecotoxicity, acidification of air, smog, water pollution, and more.


MINER metrics specify increasing the yield of energy-relevant minerals by reducing unrecovered energy-relevant minerals in tailings in by 50% compared with state of the art.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Prof. Alan West
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Talon Nickel (USA) LLC

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