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FAME Report Summary

Project ID: 641650
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FAME (Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The FAME (Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies) Project started on 1 January 2015 and will run for four years. It is an industry driven Research and Innovation Project comprising a majority of research oriented small and medium enterprises (SME’s) junior mining companies, research institutions and academia. The objectives of the Project are:

• to develop flexible modular and economic, mineral processing technologies for Greisen, Skarn and Pegmatite ores that are environmentally benign,
• 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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

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.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Since RV1 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.

The two flowsheets were chosen for pilot scale testing as they had potential 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. Plans to test the Tellerhäuser ore flow sheet would enable a demonstration of the economic 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 under development extend the state of the current art in this practice. Work underway offers potential to reduce roasting temperature (energy input) into converting Li-mica and spodumene concentrates (ca.6-8%Li) into Lithium Carbonate (ca. 30% Li).

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