Green Mining – environmentally benign technologies for targeted mineral mining from low-grade ores, wastes.

Imagine a world where vital materials used to create the products that society relies on are removed from the earth  in a manner that does not harm our precious earth.

Breakthroughs and technologies have revealed more environmentally friendly and cost effective ways to mine valuable minerals, allowing the extraction of materials that would previously have been deemed uneconomical or unsafe to remove.

Imagine a world where electrical vehicles are more affordable and have a longer range. The Verschuren Centre is currently working to make this exciting, sustainable technology available at an  economical cost.

Dr. Alicia Oickle is the Verschuren Centre Research Fellow in Green Mining

 Final Alicia Oickle


Industrial Partner



Goal:  Raise the global mining and mineral processing industries to much higher levels of efficiency and environmental friendliness.

A proprietary, low cost, environmentally friendly, and award winning solution mining technology was developed by Yava Technologies Inc. (Yava). The process recovers minerals as high purity, value added industrial products from high or low grade ore deposits, mine discharges, tailings and contaminated mine sites.  The method, known as the Yava Process, eliminates the cost and pollution generated from traditional mining equipment such as smelters and yet is designed to produce high profit, value added products for a variety of industries. The technology is the result of almost a decade of intensive research and development that was undertaken at a cost of approximately $9.5 million in cash and services. After an extensive technical review, a department of CANMET indicated it was the cleanest and most energy efficient system they had seen and recommended it be deployed internationally on mine tailings. Yava intends to license, partner, and develop its own deposits. Yava currently holds the rights to one patent and has applied for three additional provisional patents on this process.



Pollution Free Mining — The Yava Process is designed to recover minerals from a porous medium such as its lead, zinc, calcium and manganese sandstone deposit in Nova Scotia, mine or municipal sewage sludge, or many of the hundreds of tailing deposits that exist worldwide. Many of these deposits contain hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in metal that is unrecoverable with current technologies. Because of its low operating and capital costs, the Yava Process has the potential to convert numerous tailing deposits from environmental liabilities into major assets.

Yava’s process is a modification of low-cost in situ leach mining (ISLM) that for decades has used specially tailored leach solutions to recover uranium and other minerals from porous deposits. The process eliminates many conventional mining costs such as transportation of ore and its concentration and processing.  This process is either a “bolt on” process unit or a closed loop process that involves injecting a unique leachant into the targeted material via a grid of wells that form a well field.  As the fluids are pumped through the mineralized zone, they dissolve the mineralization and are subsequently pumped to the treatment plant for onsite processing.  Yava’s proprietary process expands the number of minerals recoverable using ISLM and converts those minerals to high purity, value added products.  One such product under development is lithiated manganese dioxide (LMD), which is in demand for use in the manufacture of batteries for computers, cell phones, electric vehicles, etc.  Yava recently entered into a preliminary agreement with a Fortune 500 company that is interested in marketing its LMD on a global scale.


Research Focus

Yava’s technology eliminates the need for traditional mining equipment such as concentrators and smelters along with the enormous costs and pollution that result from their use.  The Yava Process is designed to produce high profit, value added products for a variety of industries.

  • Further research and development of the Yava Process (pollution free mining) technologies.
  • Establish a pilot project in Nova Scotia.
  • Deploy Yava Process internationally on mine tailings.
  • License, partner, and develop its own deposits.
  • Development of lithiated manganese dioxide for use as a cathode material in electric vehicles, power tools and e-bikes.

On May 12, CBU announced that Yava and the Verschuren Centre were partnering on a Green Mining Technologies Research Program.

This five-year $2 million program will focus on developing innovative, economic and sustainable solution mining technologies to reduce environmental challenges posed by conventional mining and smelting techniques.   Primary research and development will take place in the Verschuren Centre laboratories. Pilot program commercial work and additional research involving scaling of equipment will be undertaken in the new Verschuren Centre Commercial Demonstration Facility. The program also includes a further $500,000 investment from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) related to the purchase of critical specialty equipment for the commercialization of the technology, which ECBC/ACOA recently announced.

CBU President David Wheeler and Yava CEO Bob Pepper sign $2M green technologies agreement.

CBU President David Wheeler and Yava CEO Bob Pepper sign $2M green technologies agreement.