Sustainable copper from nature-based alchemy
Nuton, a Rio Tinto venture, is deploying nature-based bioleach technologies set to unlock copper resources while pursuing a Positive Impact ambition. Together with our partners, we aspire to transform the industry and redefine the future and legacy of mining.
Nuton: Nature-based technologies to redefine the mining industry
Our portfolio of copper leach technologies and capability – built on 30 years of in-house research and development- could reshape the industry. Our nature-based suite of technologies has the potential to economically process primary copper sulphides, the most abundant copper resources in the world.
At the core of Nuton´s portfolio is an elevated temperature biological leach process driven by naturally occurring microorganisms, which have been carefully cultivated and adapted to work on specific ores. Under favourable conditions, our microorganisms accelerate the copper leaching process and enable copper recoveries from primary sulphides of up to 85%, surpassing the industry norm.
These nature-based technologies can be deployed in greenfield, brownfield and legacy sites, producing a 99% pure copper cathode on site while delivering leading environmental performance.
We will deliver Positive Impact: Giving back more than we take out
The world’s energy transition requires copper production to step up, and our bioleaching technologies will help access more copper resources globally. Consumers also demand better and more responsible ways to produce copper, and at Nuton we are working to meet that demand.
Our ambition is to have Positive Impacts through the production of Nuton copper at our partners’ sites. For us, achieving Positive Impacts mean giving back more than we take out, across our growing portfolio of partnerships. Through our strategic collaborations, we aim to enhance overall mine site performance to produce the lowest footprint copper in the market. At each site, we stretch our ambition beyond footprint mitigation and set to achieve at least one Positive Impact out of our five impact pillars: energy, water, land, materials and society.
years of research & development
copper recovery from chalcopyrite ore
pure copper cathodes produced
Together, we’re engineering excellence
Improving the way copper is produced needs collaboration. Each partnership we forge is unique, requiring custom solutions and tailored technologies engineered for the different stages of the mine production cycle.
Our global partners provide valuable resources, expertise, and platforms that strengthen and improve our own work. Together, we’re not only unlocking additional copper resources, but crafting a shared approach to achieving Positive Impacts – aiming to give back more than we take out.
In each partnership, Nuton aims to:
- Unlock copper resources from wasted material.
- Optimize operations towards net positive copper production.
- Ensure Nuton copper is sustainably distributed and implemented.
- Foster growth for all without negatively impacting our global communities.
We are actively pursuing new partnerships in the following industries:
Reshaping both the future and legacy of copper mining
Evolving copper production takes a global team of experts with senior experience in the mining and engineering industries. Our team is Nuton’s strongest asset—a diverse team of experts with a shared goal of redefining the copper industry. We are globally connected, experts in our respective fields, and expanding our team continuously.