Objectives of the commitment
To develop sustainable and efficient technological solutions to benefit polymetallic, complex, and low grade ores containing Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Au, Ag, PGE, CRM such as In, Sb, Co, and other minor elements from diverse mines located in Spain, Portugal, Poland and Serbia
To develop required innovative technologies covering the whole value chain from exploration to metals production including re-processing of tailings and wastes
To develop innovative technologies to exploit difficult, small or deep deposits in the mentioned countries
To produce added value products including refined metals (commodities) through the advanced concept "mine to metal" aiming to optimise mining business
To apply for a Pilot Action focused to implement a pilot demonstration facility in the Iberian Pyrite Belt able to process polymetallic and complex ores and dirty or low grade concentrates
Description of the activities
Mines operated in Spain, Portugal, Poland and Serbia by the mining partners present important limitations:
-Many deposits are difficult, small or deep, presenting high extraction and operating costs
-Drilling techniques and associated analytical procedures are very expensive
-Polymetallic sulphide ores contain interstitial and microcrystalline minerals requiring very fine liberation size (10-15 microns); as a result, comminution is high energy intensive and extremely costly
-It is very difficult to separate each metallic mineral to achieve qualified commercial concentrates and to ensure high recovery rates; a substantial proportion of metals is lost, in particularly lead and silver
-In many cases, produced concentrates have low grade and contain high level of impurities such As, Sb, Bi, Hg, etc, incurring in penalties
-The Polish copper shale ores are troublesome in terms of flotation upgradeability due to carbonate-organic matrix, impairing effective species liberation and froth flotation
-Mines viability is close related to metals prices and market conditions and situation may be critical when metals quotation decreases to a certain point
PolymetOre is an industry-driven project led by a committed group of mining companies and its main goal is overcoming above deficiencies. That aim, the established consortium is strongly organised and well-structured to ensure a successful project development; special attention is paid to present a future Pilot Action within European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials (EIP-RM).
The consortium proposes to cover the next phases having the support of the Horizon 2020 programme and the EIP-RM initiative:
PHASE 1. 2014-17.Preliminary developments. Setting up the technological basis of the project, covering next activities:
-New exploration technologies, innovative drilling techniques; rare/minor metals control in new mining projects
-New mining technologies; cost and energy efficient ores extraction methods; mining automation and control; mining wastes handling optimisation
-Mining wastes and tailings: dry stockpile techniques including paste technology improvements; by-products recovery, recycling, reuse
-New flotation technologies to improve selectivity and concentrates quality; energy efficient comminution; more selective reagents; process automation and control
-Innovative leaching technologies applied to polymetallic, dirty and low grade concentrates paying special attention to chalcopyrite extraction and including pressure, atmospheric, catalysed, and bioleaching technologies; enhanced purification, solvent extraction, and metals winning technologies
-Mine waters and process effluents and residues, e.g. biotreatment to remove sulphates, improved membranes applications; valorisation and recovery of valuable components
PHASE 2. 2017-20.Implementation of a Pilot Action on polymetallic sulphides at the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Design and build a pilot plant demonstration facility including:
-Flotation of selective and bulk concentrates
-Hybrid process combining production of commercial qualified concentrates together with dirty or low grade concentrates sent to hydromet processing
-Hydrometallurgical process able to treat polymetallic, dirty or low grade concentrates producing refined metals (commodities) and added value by-products
PHASE 3. 2020.Project feasibility studies:
-Based on results of the demonstration facility testing, required feasibility studies will be undertaken for selected industrial case studies. A detailed dissemination and commercialization plan will be developed and implemented
Description of the expected impacts
Assuming positive results of PolymetOre project, the following impacts are expected:
-Opening the opportunity to exploit substantial volume of polymetallic, complex and low grade ores which are currently uneconomic due to lack of viable ways; the key to succeed is applying the developed innovative exploration, mining and processing technologies, ensuring economic feasibility and return of investment
-To develop and apply a sustainable mining business model based on: (i)Better efficiency of exploitation of polymetallic, complex and low grade ores, increasing the deposits reserves and extracting more out of ores; (ii)Increase Cu and Zn recovery rates above 15%, and Pb and Ag recovery rates above 20%; (iii)Extraction of additional valuable products such as CRMÂ´s: Sb, Co, In, etc; (iv)Valorisation of wastes, e.g. pyrite residues aiming to recover contained iron; (v)Mitigate negative environmental impact and increase process eco-efficiency in regards to water, energy and consumable reduction as well as generated wastes; (vi)More automated operations
-To improve mining business economy through: (i)Lower operating cost, being the target 10% reduction; (ii)More income thanks to higher metals recovery rates, higher concentrates quality (less penalties), and new extracted products or by-products, being the target 20% increase; (iii)Re-processing of tailings and mining wastes to recover contained valuables
-Creation of new jobs in next areas: (i)New mining projects to exploit mines that are now unviable; (ii)New process/plants sections devoted to recover new products or by-products; (iii)New hydrometallurgical plants installed on site in the mine aiming to produce copper and zinc electrolytic metals, lead and silver added value products
-Opportunities in equipment/service supply
Coordinating organisation & role
Name of the coordinating organisation: COBRE LAS CRUCES S.A.Country: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:
Cobre las Cruces as coordinator will assume responsibilities to manage the consortium and to develop the proposed activities as required in any future grant-agreement. Some specific commitments by the coordinator includes: (i)Arrange proposal and budget preparation based on partners contributions; (ii)Establish a work plan focused on a future Pilot Action implementation; (iii)Monitoring the commitments and obligations of the partnership
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 08-02-2014 to 31-12-2020