Project 682 - Mine Tailing Revalorization

IGCP Project meeting in 2019

The IGCP meeting will be held in Spain during the Goldschmidt Conference, with a special session on "The role of Mine and Industrial Wastes in the Growing demand of Mineral Resources"

Website to participate in the meeting

Brief outline of the project

Rare Earth Elements (REE) have been defined by the European Commission as one of the most critical raw materials (CRM). In addition to critical raw material availability, mine and industrial residues revalorization and environmental protection are large-scale problems that require international cooperation. These issues are not constrains by political borders and cannot be solved by a single country. Therefore, valorization of mining and industrial by-products and residues should be considered as a priority “green” alternative to support part of the future needs of these global strategic resources.

The proposed international collaborative research will use specific tailings deposits in Europe (Spain), Africa (South Africa) and South America (Chile) to: i) improve the understanding of the geological processes controlling metals mobility in mining and industrial tailings, ii) improve the bioleaching efficiency through the detailed understanding of the tailing mineralogy, geochemistry and microbiology, and iii) achieve an efficient and repeatable REE and other CRM recovery from bio-leachates using advanced sorbent materials.

This project goes beyond a simple mineralogical/geochemical characterization of a residue and uses geological information to enhance mineral processing and biohydrometallurgical processes. Consequently, significant benefits are expected in all areas of human sustainable development (economy-environment-society).

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