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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

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 776846

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 14 210 508,48

  • EU contribution

    € 12 407 294,63

Coordinated by:

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Finland

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.

Coordinator

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Address

Vuorimiehentie 3
02150 Espoo

Finland

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 2 178 867,74

Participants (15)

VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V.

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 1 450 800

OPTIMIZACION ORIENTADA A LA SOSTENIBILIDAD SL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 322 700

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 1 779 625

TERRAFAME GROUP OY

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 1 073 030

THYSSENKRUPP INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS AG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 294 157,50

RESOURCEFULL

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 160 453,13

BUREAU DE RECHERCHES GEOLOGIQUES ET MINIERES

France

EU Contribution

€ 1 398 390

SKYSCAPE OY

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 1 049 125

JACOBS NV

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 147 437,50

COBRE LAS CRUCES SA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 51 095,87

INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE-DEZVOLTARE PENTRU METALE NEFEROASE SIRARE-IMNR

Romania

EU Contribution

€ 365 341,25

COMITE ACADEMICO TECNICO DE ASESORAMIENTO A PROBLEMAS AMBIENTALES VZW

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 383 187,50

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 643 584,14

DMT GmbH & CO. KG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 87 500

BOLIDEN MINERAL AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 1 022 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 776846

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 14 210 508,48

  • EU contribution

    € 12 407 294,63

Coordinated by:

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Finland