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Near-zero-waste recycling of low-grade sulphidic mining waste for critical-metal, mineral and construction raw-material production in a circular economy

Objective

With an estimated volume of 600 Mtonne/yr and a historic stockpile of 28,000 Mtonne, sulphidic mining waste from the production of Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni, represents the largest volume of extractive waste in Europe. When poorly managed, these “tailings” may cause major environmental problems such as acid mine drainage. In 2016 EIP Raw Materials launched a “call to arms” to transform the “extractive-waste problem” into a “resource-recovery opportunity”, as “tailings” still contain valuable & critical metals. Using a “4 PILOTS – 2 case-studies” concept NEMO develops, demonstrates and exploits, therefore, new ways to valorise sulphidic tailings. The 2 cases are the Sotkamo Ni-Cu-Zn-REE/Sc mine in Finland and the Las Cruces Cu-mine in Spain; the 4 PILOTS are located at key points in the near-zero-waste flowsheet, encompassing the recovery of valuable & critical metals, the safe concentration of hazardous elements, the removal of sulphur as sulphate salts, while using the residual mineral fraction in cement, concrete and construction products. NEMO has established an interdisciplinary consortium, including 8 industrial partners (2 mining, 4 engineering, 1 machine manufacturing & 1 construction material company), 4 research institutes, 2 universities and 1 civil society group. NEMO’s near-zero-waste technology will provide the EU with both direct and long-term, indirect advantages. The former range from new resources (e.g. base metals: Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb; critical metals: Sc, Nd, Y, Sb; SCM and aggregates etc.), CO2 savings from metal recovery and the replacement of Ordinary Portland Cement), new job creation (> 150 FTEs), new revenues (> 200 M€/yr) while the latter represent the multiplication of the former benefits (cf. 28,000 Mtonne of these tailings), while eradicating acid-mine drainage and other environmental issues, and ensuring an enhanced dialogue (framework) between industry and civil society, to obtain and maintain the License to Operate mines in EU.

Call for proposal

H2020-SC5-2017-TwoStage
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Coordinator

TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT OY
Address
Tekniikantie 21
02150 Espoo
Finland
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 2 228 867,74

Participants (15)

VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V.
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 450 800
Address
Boeretang 200
2400 Mol
Activity type
Research Organisations
OPTIMIZACION ORIENTADA A LA SOSTENIBILIDAD SL
Spain
EU contribution
€ 322 700
Address
Calle Early Ovington 4 Nave 8
41300 La Rinconada (Sevilla)
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 779 625
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
TERRAFAME GROUP OY
Finland
EU contribution
€ 978 030
Address
Aleksanterinkatu 17/ 800
00101 Helsinki
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
THYSSENKRUPP INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS AG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 294 157,50
Address
Thyssenkrupp Allee 1
45143 Essen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
RESOURCEFULL
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 160 453,13
Address
Naamsevest 18
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
BUREAU DE RECHERCHES GEOLOGIQUES ET MINIERES
France
EU contribution
€ 1 398 390
Address
3 Av Claude Guillemin
45060 Orleans
Activity type
Research Organisations
SKYSCAPE OY
Finland
EU contribution
€ 1 049 125
Address
Vesipirtintie 19A
02330 Espoo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
JACOBS NV
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 147 437,50
Address
Berlaarbaan 404
2861 Onze Lieve Vrouw Waver
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
COBRE LAS CRUCES SA

Participation ended

Spain
EU contribution
€ 51 095,87
Address
Avenida De El Garrobo 4
41860 Gerena Sevilla
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE-DEZVOLTARE PENTRU METALE NEFEROASE SIRARE-IMNR
Romania
EU contribution
€ 365 341,25
Address
Bulevardul Biruintei 102
077145 Pantelimon Ilfov
Activity type
Research Organisations
COMITE ACADEMICO TECNICO DE ASESORAMIENTO A PROBLEMAS AMBIENTALES VZW
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 383 187,50
Address
Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 5 6
9000 Gent
Activity type
Other
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 643 584,14
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
DMT GmbH & CO. KG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 87 500
Address
Am Tuv 1
45307 Essen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
BOLIDEN MINERAL AB
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 1 067 000
Address
.
932 81 Skelleftehamn
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)