In-situ leaching (ISL), also called in-situ recovery (ISR) or solution mining, is a mining process used to recover minerals such as copper and uranium through boreholes drilled into a deposit, in situ.
The process initially involves drilling of holes into the ore deposit. Explosive or hydraulic fracturing may be used to create open pathways in the deposit for solution to penetrate. Leaching solution is pumped into the deposit where it makes contact with the ore. The solution bearing the dissolved ore content is then pumped to the surface and processed. This process allows the extraction of metals and salts from an ore body without the need for conventional mining involving drill-and-blast, open-cut or underground mining.