Sustainably and economically minimising waste from low-impact processing of laterites

A mine

image Shutterstok/kaskip

Explore the potential for repurposing residues from active mines that perform atmospheric heap leach and bioleach processing of laterite ores.

Following advanced characterisation of the residues, they will be assessed for repurposing options through our own analysis and literature review.

Promising options will be trialled at the lab scale, aiming to demonstrate feasibility of the technology in an applied/engineering context (e.g. as construction aggregate). If needed, experiments will be complemented with computational modelling (e.g. solid-liquid equilibrium calculations) to achieve complete chemical/mechanistic understanding of material properties.

Finally, a multicriteria decision analysis will be undertaken to propose the best options for developing a repurposing technology that is not only economically feasible and environmentally sound but also optimised for the benefit of a local community, e.g. the Philippines, which is highly complementary to our ongoing work and collaborations.

Project objectives

  • Mineralogical and chemical characterisation of residues from bioleaching and atmospheric heap leaching of laterites (NHM).
  • Develop flowsheets for repurp.osing based upon differences in the physical properties of the materials (ICL)
  • Review and experimentally produce a range of potential construction materials based upon these flowsheets (ICL, NHM).
  • Perform modelling and experimental (e.g. compressive strength, particle size) testing of the experimentally produced construction materials (ICL).
  • Use novel multicriteria decision analysis tools to propose community acceptable frameworks for eco-efficient upscaling routes that repurpose wastes and residues (ICL, NHM).

How to apply

Apply for the project on the NHM careers website by sending your CV, covering letter outlining your interest in the PhD position, relevant skills training, experience and qualifications for the research and a statement of how this PhD project fits your career development plans. Please also include two academic references.

How to apply

Apply for this project through the NHM careers website

Application deadline: Midday (12pm GMT) 7 January, 2022

Read more about the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP).


The Natural History Museum

Dr Paul Schofield

Imperial College London (ICL)

Dr Rupert J. Myers

Dr Pablo Brita-Parada

Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) doctoral training partnership

This is a joint project between The Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership at Imperial College London and The Natural History Museum.

Funded by