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Project description

Making mining greener by digitalising operations

Nearly all fields rely on the mining of metals and minerals. The aggregates extractive industry produces 3 billion tonnes a year in Europe. It is also the largest of the non-energy extractive industries. The EU-funded DIGIECOQUARRY project will develop systems, technologies, and processes to boost the digitalisation and automation of mining operations to make them safer, more sustainable, and competitive. Specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) approaches will be paired with cyber-physical systems and the Internet of things (IoT). The next step will be to pilot these systems in five EU quarries to improve workers’ health and safety. The overall aim is to sustainably increase the supply of minerals for the construction sector.


The European aggregates extractive industry is, by far, the biggest non-energy extractive industries in the EU (Eurostat 2017): 26000 estimated extraction sites: 81,26% of the total EU mining and quarrying sites, 3000 million ton extracted and supplied to the EU internal market, ~ 220000 persons directly employed. Hence the EU faces the need of sustainable and competitive future for European Raw Materials specially in the construction sector due to a greater anticipated demand for products linked to human well-being, health, safety and sustainability. DIGIECOQUARRY will exploit the aggregates industry´s great potential through a coordinated approach towards construction materials management with the final goal of reducing EU external supply dependency as well as leading an efficient use of resources. DIGIECOQUARRY will develop systems, technology and processes for integrated digitisation and automation real-time process control, to be piloted in 5 EU quarries with the target of improving health and safety conditions for workers. The pilot campaigns will lead to improved efficiency of processes maximizing quarry resources and sustainable management of water, energy emissions, minimised environmental impact and expanding the EU aggregates and construction business. Coupling Artificial Intelligence approaches with cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things concept, make Industry 4.0 approach possible and the smart sustainable extractive site a reality. All phases of the process, from extraction to the end user are covered by DIGIECOQUARRY, ensuring communication with policy makers, social acceptance activities and international cooperation with Colombia and South Africa to share knowledge and best practices. The development of innovative an Intelligent Quarrying System (IQS) will increase the sustainable supply of minerals for the construction sector as well as enabling the sustainable extraction of EU´s mineral resources in existing and new quarries.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 042 800,00
Plaza de las cortes nº 5, 7º a
28014 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (33)