• 16 hours S&P 500 Officially In An Earnings Recession
  • 20 hours Miners Are Weathering The Trade War Storm
  • 23 hours UK Credit Card Interest Rates Are Skyrocketing
  • 2 days From Frenzy To Flop, The Death Of This Year’s Most Hyped IPO
  • 2 days Are Smart TVs Spying On Us?
  • 2 days Is Fossil Fuel Divestment A Waste Of Time?
  • 3 days A Russian Billionaire’s Space Quest To Save Humanity
  • 3 days Markets Take Breather As Consolidation Continues
  • 3 days Economic Woes Weigh On Copper Prices
  • 3 days World's Largest IPO At Risk Following Drone Strikes
  • 4 days Gold Is Beating Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
  • 4 days What’s Behind The Silver Sell-Off?
  • 4 days The Retail Apocalypse Is Accelerating
  • 4 days The Top Tech Stocks Of The Year
  • 5 days America’s Workforce Elderly Workforce To Double By 2028
  • 5 days Toyota Tests Solar-Powered Prius
  • 6 days Why The Gold Rally Flatlined
  • 6 days The Uranium Sector Can’t Catch A Break
  • 7 days Upcoming Fed Meeting Has Investors On Edge
  • 7 days Global Gold Sector Outlines Responsible Mining Principles
A Russian Billionaire’s Space Quest To Save Humanity

A Russian Billionaire’s Space Quest To Save Humanity

One Russian billionaire is planning…

Gold Is Beating Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway

Gold Is Beating Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway

For the 20-year period, gold…

UK Credit Card Interest Rates Are Skyrocketing

UK Credit Card Interest Rates Are Skyrocketing

Consumers who turn to credit…

Mining.com

Mining.com

Mining.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Breaking News

Is Biomining The Secret To Deep Space Exploration?

Space

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Geological Sciences are studying the possibility of mining metals from asteroids in space using bacteria.

Even though biomining is already a reality on Earth, with 15% of the planet’s copper and 5% of the gold extracted using this method, researchers Luis Zea and Jesse Colangelo want to investigate the performance of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis for the extraction of iron from lunar, Martian and asteroid regolith simulant under simulated reduced-gravity conditions.

In a media brief, Zea and Colangelo explained that biomining is a process where mined materials are placed in vats with water and specialized bacteria that extract the desired metals from the surrounding rock. 

In Zea’s view, conducting this type of activity in space could benefit Earth both financially and environmentally.

“In space, there are virtually limitless amounts of some of the 44 endangered elements that could face supply limitations here in the future,” the scientist said and put as an example asteroid 16 Psyche, which is located between Mars and Jupiter and is estimated to contain $700 quintillion worth of nickel, iron and precious metals. NASA is planning to explore it in 2022.

The scholar also suggested biomining in space has the potential to allow for Earth to be reserved exclusively for living, while all heavy industry and mining could be conducted entirely outside the blue planet.

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment