Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are crucial to Europe’s economy. They form a strong industrial base, producing a broad range of goods and applications used in everyday life and modern technologies. CRMs are needed for significant economic and strategic sectors, e.g. for manufacturing batteries, construction tools, sensors and electronic devices, medical devices and metals, and are required across the wider automotive, defence and renewable energy sectors. However, unreliable supply and difficult substitution of CRMs is a growing concern within the EU and across the globe. Currently, the EU relies on the rest of the world for many CRMs such as Antimony (Sb, 100% imported), Cobalt (Co, 32% imported), Germanium (Ge, 64% imported) and Tungsten (W, 44% imported). European reserves and current recycling rates are low (2% for Ge as an example), and recycling rates are substantially insufficient to meet demand.

RAWMINA Horizon 2020 Project

“Integrated Innovative Pilot System For Critical Raw Materials Recovery From Mines Wastes In A Circular Economy Context” (“RAWMINA”) is a 42-month Horizon 2020-funded project aiming to develop and demonstrate an innovative pilot system for the clean and sustainable production of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials from Mine Waste (MW). This industrially scalable and flexible innovative pilot system will be able to achieve, in continuous operation, 95% recovery rate and 95% selectivity for CRMs (Co, Sb, Ge, W), and 80-90% recovery rate and 95% selectivity for Gold (Au), Silver (Ag) and Iron (Fe) based high-value products, whilst reutilising 90% of water. The RAWMINA pilot system will treat up to 100-150kg of MW/day on an industrial demonstration (TRL7, 12 months operation) and includes an efficient, circular and robust process control by an end-to-end Intelligent Management System.

An interdisciplinary, vibrant, industry-led consortium formed by 19 (4 large enterprises, 7 SMEs, 5 RTOs and 3 universities), European and international partners (European: Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain; International: Chile, UK), with recognized expertise, experience, skills, resources, infrastructure and position in the fields of mining industry, circular economy, renewable energy, material sciences, and business development, is prepared to achieve these goals. Coordinated by LEITAT, and involving a prominent industrial partner from Chile (where the world’s largest copper ore deposits exist) the consortium will also leverage the knowledge and support of the Advisory Board members, including expertise from the mining sector in South Africa, Portugal and Turkey. Finally, RAWMINA will contribute towards the reduction of production costs and environmental impacts, as well as to the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on CRMs.

Helix Ecosystem

The Raw Minerals Helix is an international Open Innovation community of specialists in CRMs recovery and related disciplines. Researchers, industry actors, ethics specialists and policy makers, civil society (end users) and participants of other relevant projects and relevant actors across Europe/the world are invited to join the Helix.

The Raw Minerals Helix was launched as a focus for impact and dissemination services in support of the RAWMINA project's ambition to foster a truly collaborative ecosystem. In achieving this ambition, RAWMINA will contribute towards efforts to increase the circular economy in the mining sector, as well as to generate knowledge, technology and best practices.

This material reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

The RAWMINA project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 958252.

Funded by
the European Union

(Re)Mining Extractive Waste - A new business? [H2020 Project Cluster Symposium]

Past Event

Tue, May 17, 2022 08:30 AM - Wed, May 18, 2022 05:00 PM

The 2-day symposium “(Re)Mining extractive waste, a new business?” gathers leading experts in the field of mining and/or remining of extractive waste, with a focus on the tailings that arise during the mining and processing of sulphidic ores. The latest evolutions in the field, novel concepts and business cases will be presented, including case studies from both historical and active mining sites. Since the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution, the primary mining and metal processing industry has been landfilling and/or stockpiling vast quantities of waste. This waste type, termed “extractive waste”, is considered as one of the largest waste streams in Europe. Specific precautions need to be taken when dealing with sulphidic mine tailings, as upon oxidation of residual sulphides, acidic waters are generated. These can result in the release of residual heavy metals to surface and ground waters. Hosted by the H2020 projects NEMO, CROCODILE, TARANTULA and MSCA-ETN SULTAN, at SIM² KU Leuven, this IN-PERSON symposium includes a variety of talks, pitches and posters. Speakers from the RAWMINA consortium feature. Register free-of-charge on the event website!

RAWMINA Intro Video