Objectives of the commitment
As stated in action area no. 1.3 of the SIP. The main economic, technological and environmental challenges of mining include reducing high investment costs, reducing generation of waste and large tailings, identifying and addressing environmental impacts on the marine ecosystems, and improving flexibility, automation and safety of operations.
The underground mining industry mining minerals in hard rock, defined as typically >150 MPa compressive strength, use methods and processes that in many cases initially was developed in the early 1900 century. These methods has safety, environmental and efficiency issues that need to be solved to increase productivity and reduce cost in mining, i.e. for a resource efficient, selective and sustainable production of raw materials in the future.
This project will address the need of improving underground rock excavation by replacing the traditional Drill and Blast (D&B) method in mining for hard rock with a technology using Mechanical Rock Excavation (MRE).
This project address SIP actions; Automated mining and Mining of small deposits.
The project intends to demonstrate MRE technology in a pilot action/plant.
Description of the activities
Mechanical Rock Excavation has been used in underground soft rock mining for coal and industry minerals during many years. But the technology has to be modified to be used in hard rock (>150 MPa compressive strength). Over the last few years promising technology improvements have been made and it is now time to build a demonstrator to evaluate the technology in a real application.
A consortium of industry and academia intend to run a project to build a pilot prototype machine to demonstrate that this technology is now mature enough to be used in sustainable production of minerals.
The pilot prototype will be a full scale machine possible to use in parallel with full production in a real mining environment.
The project will consist of different phases / activities:
1. Design and manufacturing of demonstrator/pilot machine
2. Safety and functional testing in a factory environment
3. Demonstration in a test mine in a test environment
4. Demonstration in a full production mine in a real mining environment
5. Evaluate results and decide on commercialisation of the technology or not
Description of the expected impacts
MRE technology has many potential advantages over traditional Drill and Blast technology. The projects objective will be to:
Demonstrate the following tecnology impact;
- The potential to excavate hard rock 150-200% as productive
- The potential to excavate hard rock with 10-30% less waste
- The potential to excavate hard rock automatically and by that reducing workforce exposure to safety hazards by up to 50%
- MRE technology is all electrical, i.e. no NOx or CO2 underground air pollution
And as a result we expect the following overall impact in the mining industry;
- Improve Europeâs resource base by unlocking deeper deposits in the EU, small deposits not worth exploiting using âconventionalâ technologies.
- Create new jobs in mining and equipment manufacturing industries in the EU
- Push Europe to the forefront in the areas of extraction concepts, technologies and related services
- Improve workers safety in underground mining
- Reduce environmental impact of the mine operation
- Reduce energy and water consumption by the reduction of the volume of materials to be extracted from the mine
Coordinating organisation & role
Name of the coordinating organisation: Atlas Copco Rock Drills ABCountry: SwedenEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:
Project sponsor and project coodinator/manager.Provider of technology and test site.
Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB is a mining technology provider to the European and global mining industry with HQ in Ãrebro, Sweden.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.
Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.
RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)
Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.
Universita' di Cagliari
Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.
Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.
Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.
Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.
COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER
Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.
Existing EU Contribution: No
Period to implement the commitment: from 08-04-2014 to 30-03-2017