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Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - FAME (Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

FAME addressses mineral processing sollutions for (European) skarn, greisen and pegmatite deposits. The objectives of the Project are:

• to develop flexible modular and economic, mineral processing flow sheets for Greisen, Skarn and Pegmatite ores that are environmentally benign;
• to develop enhanced mineral processing equipment that can accommodate low grade, fine grained ores;
• to identify mineral processing flow sheets capable of producing Li-mica concentra;es;
• to carry out mineralogical investigations to assist selection of the best mineral processing strategies for European skarn, greisen and pegmatite ores;
• to create improved awareness of the need for mining and assist utilisation of European ores (help turn resources into reserves);
• to promote entrepreneurship and the (re) development of the EU mining and processing industry;
• to stimulate and develop job growth and expertise within the EU; and
• to disseminate the findings and results through the FAME publications, conferences and public meetings
• to maintain mineral processing skills within Europe.

FAME is designed to assist the developers of European Resources by demonstrating cost effective, environmentally friendly processing options appropriate to the scale of European deposits.

The FAME Project is important to EU28 as it can aid better utilisation of indigenous raw materials thereby reducing EU28's dependency on imported raw materials, especially crticial raw materials (CRMs) for European Industry and strategic metals such as lithium. FAME does not target specific commodities but focussess on ore types common in Europe. Importantly, frequently these contain CRMs and lithium. 3 of the 6 reference ores (of both pegmatite and greisen types) can be classiefied as lithium ores. These contain spodumene and lithium micas. Before FAME no large scale testwork had been carried out to produce Li-mica concentrates from European deposits.
Eight Work Packages (WPs) have been designed to deliver the project. There is a general work flow between the Packages, especially WP’s 3, 4, 5 (Mineral Processing test work) and 6 (Environmental Performance) with WP1 (Management), WP7 (Dissemination) and WP8 (Ethics) delivering throughout the project (i.e. all 48 months).

To enable accurate assessment of the findings a thorough analysis of the state-of-the-art and new technologies was undertaken for the processing of tin and tungsten ores. Additionally, a review was made of the current status and manufacturing capacity for mobile mineral processing equipment. Each Work Package has a specific function and the progress to-date and any notable results are summarised below.

Work in WPs 3 and 4 has progessed to the stage of developing 'conceptual flow sheets' appropriate for mineral processing strategies to help develop European skarn, greisen and pegmatite ores to the point where they can be utilised.

As FAME has progressed the importance of Lithium as a strategic metal for batteries has grown immensely. FAME management team took an active view to promote Lithium mineral beneficiation within the FAME programme and develop plans for pilot scale production of Li-mica concentrates from the Gonçalo deposit (Portugal).

Conceptual flow sheets have been produced for the mineral processing of the Tellerhäuser (Sn) skarn ore in Saxony, Germany, culminating in proposals to build and operate an industrial scale pilot plant to treat ≈ 100t of ore and a second pilot plant established at LNEG, Portugal, treated >1t lepidolite (li-mica) pegmatite from Gonçalo.
The FAME project has continued progress on testwork on all 6 reference ores obtained during the first reporting period.

Work progressed to the extent that 'concept' flowsheets were presented for 3 of the reference ores- Tabuaço, Gonçalo and Tellerhäuser. Planning was made to test at pilot scale (TRL 6/7) the production of a Li-mica (Lepidolite) concentrate from Gonçalo ore and testing at industrial pilot plant scale (TRL 6/7) of the Tellerhäuser flowsheet. Testing at a large scale in Tabuaço was not possible as no bulk sample could be obtained. However, the two flowsheets were chosen for pilot scale testing to demonstrate:

* viability of European Lithium production from hard rock minerals (lepidolite); and
* viability of processing a complex European skarn/greisen ores considered previously to be impossible to treat by conventional means.

FAME has taken every opportunity to present results and concepts at international conferences and exhibitions. Testing the Tellerhäuser ore flow sheet has demonstrated the technical viability of treating an ore (one of the largest unworked Sn-Ln deposits Worldwide) that was until recently considered not possible to process.

Mineral processing of hard rock Lithium minerals relies on the ability to float non-sulphide minerals. The flotation strategies developed extend the state of the current art in this practice. Work on conversion of Li-mica concentates to Lithium Carbonate (the principal Li compound used in Lithium Ion Batteries) demonstrating potential to reduce roasting temperature (energy input) into converting Li-mica into Lithium Carbonate.
FAME's GTK and Keliber at Mines and Money, London December 2015
Front page of the Flyer which was created in January 2015 to publicise FAME to the external world
FAME LNEG Pilot Plant Testing
Screen Shot of the reworked FAME Website
FAME Closure Conference December 2018
Glebe Mine Visit June 2015 - Jan Rosenkranz (Lulea Uni/WP6 Leader) in front of Hydro Cyclones at BFL
FAME LNEG visit of Marcin Sadowski
FAME has created a Logo which has been registered as a Trademark for protection
FAME visits Saxore's Tellerhauser Mine - June 2016
FAME visit to London Metal Exchange Dec18
FAME Consortium Members at Keliber's Lantta Deposit - FGM September 2015
FAME Project Coordinator Chris Broadbent presenting at Lulea Conference February 2016