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Journal Articles (Review Article) Environmental Science and Technology Year : 2015

Agromining: Farming for Metals in the Future?

Antony van Der Ent
  • Function : Author
Alan J. M. Baker
  • Function : Author
Roger D. Reeves
  • Function : Author
Rufus L. Chaney
  • Function : Author
Christopher W. N. Anderson
  • Function : Author
John A. Meech
  • Function : Author
Peter D. Erskine
  • Function : Author
James Vaughan
  • Function : Author
Jean Louis Morel
Bruno Fogliani
Qiu Rongliang
  • Function : Author
David R. Mulligan
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Phytomining technology employs hyperaccumulator plants to take up metal in harvestable plant biomass. Harvesting, drying and incineration of the biomass generates a high-grade bio-ore. We propose that ``agromining'' (a variant of phytomining) could provide local communities with an alternative type of agriculture on degraded lands; farming not for food crops, but for metals such as nickel (Ni). However, two decades after its inception and numerous successful experiments, commercial phytomining has not yet become a reality. To build the case for the minerals industry, a large-scale demonstration is needed to identify operational risks and provide ``real-life'' evidence for profitability.
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Dates and versions

hal-01267220 , version 1 (04-02-2016)



Antony van Der Ent, Alan J. M. Baker, Roger D. Reeves, Rufus L. Chaney, Christopher W. N. Anderson, et al.. Agromining: Farming for Metals in the Future?. Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49 (8), pp.4773-4780. ⟨10.1021/es506031u⟩. ⟨hal-01267220⟩
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