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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Innovation Network to increase the COmpetitiveness of the European Magnesium/Magnesite sector through Environmental and Social Sustainability

Objectives of the commitment

The main objective of the INCOMES RMC is to ensure the supply of a pre-critical Raw Material as Magnesite, precursor of Magnesium, in Europe through the promotion of innovation on the sector.
The specific objectives are:
- To increase the availability of Magnesite sources at European level while minimising the environmental impacts.
- To use efficiently the Magnesite sources, promoting eco-design and recycling.
The operative objectives are:
- To create a network of Research and Business stakeholders on European Magnesite sector.
- To increase the available reserves of Magnesite in Europe via utilization of low grade ores
- To reduce the environmental impacts associated with the exploitation of Magnesite mines
- To eco-design both new and existing products with an minimum content of MgO
- To recycle current waste flows for the production of oxides and magnesium carbonates with high purity

Description of the activities

ACTION 1: Creation of the European Network
The initial task will consist in the formal creation of a network based on the members of the INCOMES RMC. The network will include in the initial stage new partners in order to better cover the European diversity and the points of view of the different stakeholders in the Magnesite sector.
The network will need to cover at least the following profiles:
- European Magnesite producers
- Equipment and machinery manufacturers
- RTD Centres
- Universities
- Sectorial associations
- Public Authorities (Regional Governments…)
- Engineering and consulting companies in the fields of mining and environment.
The RMC confirmed members will ensure the complementarity of the profiles in order to avoid duplicities.

ACTION 2: INCREASED RESERVES OF MAGNESITE
The INCOMES RMC will strongly work in increasing the current European reserves of Magnesite via utilization of low grade ores. It involves using mineral resources such as small mineral deposits, gravels and flotation tailings.
The main working line will focus on using more efficient enrichment methods: magnetic separation, improved production processes are as dense media and flotation. Therefore the tasks foreseen will be:
Task 2.1: State of the Art Full Assessment:
- Analysis of last Research Projects (FP7, RFCS, National Programmes…) in order to keep a Technology Watch on new enrichment methods.
Task 2.2: Knowledge Development:
- Valorization of mining wastes from dumps: there are stock-pilled millions of tonnes of tailings in the different magnesite mines in Europe. These tailings contain significant amounts of exploitable raw material (magnesite), but due to their small grain size (<10mm), their beneficiation is not considered economically feasible using conventional dry beneficiation technologies. Alternative ones to be tested and developed would be: foarth floatation (low water consumption), magnetic separation, laser sorting, special dry sieving techniques, swift chemical analysis system for chemically sorting on the conveyor belt, mobile beneficiation unit…
- Publication of recommendations and results on the best technologies to increase the available resources of Magnesite in Europe.
Task 2.3: Development of Pilot plants and Demo projects:
- Demonstrative plant for the extraction of low-grade magnesite (in dolomite deposits).
- Demonstrative plant for the valorization of low-grade mining waste and tailings (with nearly zero water systems)
- Portable demonstrative plant for the treatment of low grade mining waste energetically autonomous (biomass).

ACTION 3: SUSTAINABLE AND EFFICIENT EXPLOITATION OF MAGNESITE MINES
Mining activities has several environmental effects in terms of waste management, water consumption and CO2 emissions. The objective of the action will be to establish and demonstrate the viability of a series of technologies and management procedures capable of minimizing environmental impacts and ensuring the sustainability of the Magnesite mines exploitation.
Potential lines of work will be:
- New technologies of low (or zero) water consumption
- Implementation of circular economy models for the use of waste flows and secondary feedstocks
- Low carbon technologies to minimize the CO2 emissions and to capture the remaining emissions
- Implementation of the most efficient technologies and the most accurate methods of control and monitoring
Tasks foreseen will be:
- Working Group to establish the best available techniques for the Magnesite exploitation
- 1 Pilot plant to demonstrate sustainable and holistic approach for Magnesite extraction: transfer mining + low environmental impact technologies

ACTION 4: ECO-DESIGN OF PRODUCTS
The task will consist on the definition of products of lower MgO content for the following sectors:
- Animal feeding: input of active Mg and digestion pH regulation
- Agriculture: input of active Mg and soil correction
- Iron and steel industry: various refractory materials
- Environmental applications: stabilization of heavy metals in dumping sites and acid waters treatment.
- Other applications: fire-resistant cements and mortars, and Sorel’s cement

Tasks foreseen will be mainly a report on State-of-the-Art and a series of tests of the new products with lower MgO content:
- Tests “in vitro” and "in vivo" for animal nutrition.
- Tests for soil applications
- Labs tests for other applications (refractory materials and other industry applications): RHI report on the advantages of the sills with minor MgO content…
- Market Studies

ACTION 5: WASTE RECYCLING
Finally, the group will intend to analyse different processes to recycle wastes with potential of magnesium recovery, minimizing the need of primary raw material. Tasks foreseen will be:
1. One of the main lines will be the refractory waste recycling for the production of oxides and magnesium carbonates with high purity. Main outcomes will be:
- Report about the recyclibality of materials with magnesite in the refractory sector
- Lab tests to obtain Magnesium Carbonate precipitate
- Demonstration plant to obtain high purity Magnesite from refractory wasted bricks
- Demonstration plant to obtain high purity Magnesite from low-grade wastes

2. Due to the high sulphur content of PC and FO used in the magnesia sector the emissions gases may contain up to 4000mg/m3 SOx. The dry or semi-dry sorption techniques are considered the most appropriate BATs (reactive MgO is utilised to capture SOx). This constitutes large amounts (>10.000tn/y) of waste. The aim of this task will be to construct and run a pilot plant that would recycle the desulphurisation waste into value added products.

Description of the expected impacts

ACTION1:
- 1 stable and sustainable network of stakeholders in Magnesite sector
- 1 report on the state-of-the-art of Magnesite mineral resources in Europe

ACTION2:
- Informe sobre el estado del arte en recursos minerales de magnesita.
- 1 Demonstrative plant for the extraction of low-grade magnesite (in dolomite deposits).
- 2 Demonstrative plants for the valorization of low-grade minerals: from mining waste and from tailings (with nearly zero water systems)
- 1 Portable demonstrative plant for the treatment of low grade mining waste energetically autonomous (biomass).

ACTION3:
- Working Group to establish the best available techniques for the Magnesite exploitation
- 1 Pilot plant to demonstrate sustainable and holistic approach for Magnesite extraction: transfer mining + low environmental impact technologies

ACTION 4:
- Several laboratory tests for products with low MgO content
- Market study in the refracxtory sector
- Market study in the human and animal nutrition sector

ACTION 5:
- Report about the recyclibality of materials with magnesite in the refractory sector
- Lab tests to obtain Magnesium Carbonate precipitate
- Demonstration plant to obtain high purity Magnesite from refractory wasted bricks
- Demonstration plant to obtain high purity Magnesite from low-grade wastes
- Demonstration plant for treatment of desulphuration wastes

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: MAGNESITAS NAVARRAS, S.A.Country: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:

MAGNESITAS NAVARRAS is a manufacturer of raw material (Sintered Magnesite) and of final products (refractory mass) for use at the siderurgy industry. It is also one of the principal producers of Calcined Magnesite for use in fertilizers and animal nutrition, and has an increasing presence in the environmental sector. The company has 60% of its invoicing to the external markets. RMC: use and exploitation of low-grade mineral resources

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung 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.

Fundacion Cidaut

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.

Relight

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.

Piaggio Aerospace

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.

Blackshape Aircrafts

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.

KU Leuven

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.

FIDAMC

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 01-01-2014 to 31-12-2017