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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Objectives of the commitment

SIMS Raw Material Commitment (RMC) aims to test and demonstrate relevant technologies all supporting the realization of the vision of the sustainable intelligent mining system which will strengthen European competitiveness by contributing to lower production cost, minimized environmental impact and minimized mining waste, safer and more attractive working conditions, and a highly automated and flexible mining operation. The actions will lead to unlocking of potential mineral reserves and securing the supply of raw materials for Europe. Further, SIMS aims also at increasing the acceptance and understanding for mining in Europe, focusing on the social license to operate through communication with society and relevant stakeholders.

Description of the activities

Pilot action test sites: Our concept is to create geographically distributed projects where a number of excellent test sites located in existing operating mines are utilized, and where different parts of the intelligent mining system is tested and demonstrated. The physical test sites will be complemented and connected by a virtual test site which also will be a part of the SIMS platform and will be a support tool for demonstration, dissemination, communication and outreach activities to all relevant stakeholders, including the society and general public. The concept of combining several physical test sites through virtual platform instead of aiming for “one single European test site” will meet the various needs related to the various parts of the mining system. Using several test sites, including a virtual test site will increase the accessibility and enable parallel tests and pilots, combined through the virtual platform.

Virtual test sites: The VR test site will act as a both training and a test facility for the mining industry. The virtual test site will be co-funded by partner- and regional funding, and the cooperation with local science centers will enable an improved communication and public dialogue. The VR test sites are also a test site for the virtual pilot actions, for instance simulations, which will be performed within the RMC. The physical test sites and the virtual test sites will be connected so that for instance augmented reality can be used to combine actions in the different physical test sites.

Physical test sites: The mines acting as pilot test sites have been selected in order to support the infrastructure or special needs addressed by the pilot action tests. All mines are selected due to their specific conditions and their high degree of maturity with regards to intelligent systems, automation and sustainability. The physical test sites are:

- Boliden mines that are among the most productive in the world. The Boliden mines operate with a high degree of technological refinement and the underground mines have more than 2000 access point for underground Wi-Fi.
- LKAB Underground Mines in Kiruna and Malmberget. The Kiirunavaara Iron ore mine is one of the world’s largest underground mines. Both the Kiirunavaara and the Malmberget mine are now operating at more than 1000m depth. LKAB has for many years been in the forefront of the development of automation in underground mining.
- K+S mines (Zielitz, Hattorf-Wintershall, Neuhof-Ellers) are potash mines with an output of roughly 31 million tons per year. The mines have a history of being pilot sites for various projects. Current focus is digitized production planning, increasing production efficiency and streamlining production activities.

Description of the expected impacts

Target of EIP raw materials Innovative pilot actions: We will establish a test environment consisting of test sites located in various operating mines and a virtual environment that together with the SIMS platform will enable SME/OEM/Mining companies to more rapidly learn and understand requirements, give early feedback to tests in real mining environment and provide a more open test environment.

Market potential and competitive technology: Many of the consortium partners are world leading suppliers and producers and the identified pilot action tests also reflects this. We believe that we have a good selection of very promising tests and that we will test and demonstrate new technology and solutions with a world market potential. Through our university partners we foresee an opportunity to identify new research challenges and to generate know how by joint public-private publications.

Unlocking potential reserves: The new technologies and solutions that will be tested and demonstrated has the potential of increasing effectiveness and productivity, thus decreasing the cost per ton. This, together with the increased safety obtained with the new technologies and solutions will contribute to unlocking unexploited reserves, both due to lowered production costs but also by making it possible to avoid human presence at potentially dangerous situations and environments.

Public acceptance & Trust: The SIMS project will focus on human interaction, both human interaction related to the demonstrated technologies and solutions but also interaction regarding public acceptance and trust of society. We will allow for public interaction, and we will perform all activities in a transparent fashion while encouraging an open dialogue with the public.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: ATLAS COPCO ROCK DRILLS ABCountry: SwedenEntity profile: Multi-national organizationRole within the commitment:

Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB provides equipment for drilling and rock excavation through a global network. Atlas Copco is a core partner to EIT RawMaterials, high level steering group member to the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials, partner to the Swedish Strategic innovation program for the Swedish mining and metal producing industry (SIP STRIM) and many more national and international programs and projects.

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.


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.


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.


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 01-01-2017 to 31-12-2020