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Transition Biomining
Faster copper extraction from heap leaching of waste ore -- using microbes.
Funding to Date*
* Data source: Crunchbase
Sasha Milshteyn, PhD, CEO
“Copper is the lifeblood of the energy transition. We harness the power of native microbes to sustainably extract more out of the existing resources.”
Some Tesla models use up to 82 kg of copper, up to a mile of copper just to connect all the battery to all the electronics.

In the $10B copper mining industry, “heap leaching” of waste rock with low concentrations of ore has become a standard practice. Heap leaching works in two ways: 1) sulfuric acid is sprayed on top to trickle through the heaps, and 2) natural microbes in the heaps also help dissolve the copper mineral into solution. It’s been widely noted that the microbes can speed up leaching by up to 2x, but nobody knows why or how this happens – or how to consistently recreate it.

Transition Biomining is building a platform to control the microbes in heaps, and deliver faster leaching every time. The economic value of improving leaching is enormous – a mere 5% boost can be worth $100 million per mine annually.