Procedure for obtaining a renewable resource of metals from acid minewater, and the respective systems

Summary of the technology

Is known in the state of the art the recovery of metals from the acid aqueous solution that contain them, generally by liquid-liquid extractions. For metals recovery at industrial scale is necessary that these metals can be recovered simultaneously by means of a single extraction step. There are several extraction reagent for this purpose, all these reagent are very expensive and the industrial process for the metal recovery (particularly for rare earth and yttrium) are very complex and finally expensive. The present procedure allows to recovery selectively metals (particularly rare earths and yttrium) by the neutralization of acid mine waters. The objective is to revalue the metal content dissolved in this waters.

University of Huelva

Description of the technology

The procedure of the invention allows obtaining a solid renewable resource of metals, particularly rare earth elements and yttrium, from acid mine waters. To implement the procedure, the invention contemplates the use of an installation that recovers selectively the dissolved metals to generate solid metal resources.


The procedure allows obtaining metals selectively, particularly rare earth and yttrium, from acid mine waters by adding controlled doses of alkaline reagent to obtain specific hydrochemical characteristics under which certain metals pass from acid solution to a solid precipitate.

Main advantages of its use

  • Unlike conventional mining (extractive mining) which mine non-renewable resources, the procedure of this invention can be considered renewable at medium and long term because it is guaranteed the generation of acid waters for the following reasons:
  • 1) society needs metal resources to maintain and improve their level of development,
  • 2) to obtain these resources is inevitable the mining activity which generate acid mine water,
  • 3) the generation of these acidic waters will be active during the activity of the mine and for hundreds to thousands of years after it closure.
  • The procedure of this invention no promotes an environmental impact, all the opposite, to obtain a solid renewable resource of metals, particularly rare earth and yttrium, the procedure gets indirectly an environmental improvement by the neutralization of acid mine waters.


  • Industrial sector derived from mining and mineral processing.
  • The main customer profile is the mining sector.

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Mining Technologies
  • Mining and extraction
  • Water Management
  • Coal mining
  • Mining machinery
  • Pollution and Recycling Related
  • Mining (non-energy related)
  • Obtention of a renewable resource of metals
  • selective recovery of metals
  • renewable resource of rare earth and yttrium.

About University of Huelva

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is a service of the University of Huelva attached to the Vice-chancellor of Research, Postgraduate and International Relations. Its mission is to get companies and institutions in Huelva are scientifically advanced entities, by encouraging close collaboration in R&D between researchers, enterprises, and institution

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