Monitoring the consortia involved in mining processes has great potential for heap leaching optimization in many types of ores and target metals. UBM has embarked on ambitious sequencing and analysis projects to further the knowledge of these consortia. Each mine site and ore type has unique characteristics that allow various microbial communities to develop and thrive. Understanding the symbiosis and importance of individual species within a consortia may reveal exciting new targets for genetics-based solutions to intractable problems encountered in the industry.
UBM uses advanced bioinformatics software, including proprietary solutions, and super-computing hardware to analyze the genetics of these extremophile consortia, and to design novel genes and constructs in engineered organisms.
In addition, UBM has developed a metagenomics pipeline for determining consortia composition to determine the presence of species that cannot be cultured. This information can be used for targeting of specific organisms in other assays.