Info Day Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5

LPRC was present at the most recent Horizon 2020 information day, where the opportunities and challenges for the future of Societal Challenge 5 (Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials) and its 2019 funding calls were discussed.

The event had place in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission during the 11th and 12th of September, in Brussels. It counted with the presence of a wide range of stakeholders from the research, education, business and industry spectrums that wanted to learn more about the future of the Horizon 2020 programme and new opportunities, to network and together help EU’s future regarding environment, climate and resource sufficiency through meaningful partnerships.

LPRC members participated in sessions related to raw materials, proposal preparation and evaluation and on how to make economic impact out of innovation actions. Thanks to these, LPRC’s background on Horizon 2020 projects’ preparation, development and exploitation has been improved. Networking periords allowed the team to discuss relevant topics with an international audience.

LPRC is open and actively searching for cooperation opportunities in Europe and beyond to help to shape the future for better with its range of capabilities.

All presentations and recorded sessions from the information day are available from the EASME website.

CHPM2030 Consortium and Advisory Board meeting, Iceland

Iceland is a result of 16 million years* of geological work, undertaken by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (divergent oceanic plate boundary) and a mantle plume (active hotspot). The two forces induce continuous basaltic volcanism, while building the mass of the island. The area is still very active with volcanic eruptions, excellent geothermal fields and breathtaking views. Iceland is a true geological paradise. The LPRC staff had the chance to visit some of the Icelandic scenery gems, including Kerid crater lake, Dyrhólaey arch, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and the Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Gullfoss waterfalls (see gallery below), before the meeting started.

The first two days of the Consortium meeting were dedicated to the follow-up of the project work at WP and subtask level. The subtask leaders presented their progress since the Lanzarote Consortium meeting  until this point in time, and therefore the partners could discuss uncertain matters. Slightly more time was dedicated to WP6 Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots (led by LPRC) and then to WP4 System Integration (led by ISOR). Both WPs have recently started and required leading input from the consortium partners. The WP4 presentation was followed by the session on Harmonization of technological elements, which is the most critical issue at the moment in the project. The second day finished with the preparation of the Advisory Board meeting, held on the following day, where the partners reviewed the challenges and topics where they are expecting input from the external Experts.

During the Advisory Board meeting, the WP leaders presented the state of the art of their work. Partners focused on the technological challenges they are facing and formulated questions towards the AB members. Each WP introduction – 5 in total – was followed by ~30 min discussion between the partners and the AB members. Some of the issues that came up during discussions included upscaling of the CHPM technology, harmonizing technological elements, and EGS (Enhanced Geothermal System) technological difficulties.

On the last day, the project partners and Advisory Board members visited the geothermally active Reykjanes Peninsula, SW from Reykjavík. This geothermal field is located in the junction of the divergent plate boundary and local tectonic fissures. The produced hot geothermal steam,  groundwater and seawater are used not only for direct heating, generating electricity, but also for molecular farming (algae cultivation), blue lagoon (spa, clinic, and R&D), fish farming and drying, and methanol production from CO2. The CHPM2030 team also visited the HS ORKA HQ, Reykjanes power plant, Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP-2) drill site, the algae farming facility, and some other geothermal surface manifestations in the peninsula.

Work Package 6 partners will meet again soon in Brussels, at the GeoHub facilitites for a workshop on “harmonization of study area evaluation and 3D modelling”!

*Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes of the World, Vol. 24 Iceland.

(Photos: Tamas Miklovicz, LPRC)

 

CHPM2030 Romania fieldtrip

The CHPM2030 project participants visited the second study area in WP6 Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots: Beius Basin, Romania. The field trip was organised by Diana Persa and Stefan Marincea from the Geological Institute of Romania.

In WP6, LPRC is deploying its foresight background for both the short-term and long-term planning of the CHPM (Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction) technology, with the involvement of the Partners and Advisory Board members. The short-term planning, by 2030, includes the study of 4 areas in the UK, Romania, Sweden and Portugal, with the help of the representing national geological surveys: British Geological Survey, Geological Institute of Romania, Swedish Geological Survey, Portuguese Geological Survey. The CHPM team recently visited the South-West England study site (read more at CHPM2030 Cornwall Fieldtrip), and now the focus was on the Romanian banatitic magmatic and metallogenic belt.

The participants first visited the town hall of Beius, located on the Northwest of Romania, where the local geothermal district heating system was explained. Some parts of the instrumentation were later visited by team. The field program included visits to several skarn related exposures of the banatitic magmatism, including Budureasa (Valea Mare, quarry with brucite bearing granodiorite-dolomite contact), Pietroasa (Dealul Gruiului, adit for exploiting magnesian borate bearing altered dolomite) and Baita (marble quarry, calcic skarns with base metal sulphides) in the Bihor Mts. and at Cazanesti (Cerboaia Valley, gehlenite bearing high temperature contact zone) in the Magureaua Vatei area. These skarns are especially interesting, as these are expected to be present 3-5 km depth at the host rock and magmatic intrusion contact zones. Since many of the surface exposure skarns were mineralised, it is expected to see similar processes at depth, being a special interest area for simultaneous geothermal energy and mineral extraction, the aim of the CHPM technology.

Besides the field exposures, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Turda salt mine, the Bears’ Cave at Chiscau and the Gold Museum in Brad. The study areas representative geological surveys will meet in October in Brussels, at GeoHub, to further advance discussions on the first pilots, to be developed by 2030.

LPRC participates at BIOMOre final event, Brussels

LPRC attended to BIOMOre, a H2020 funded project on an alternative mining concept, final event on last Friday, 6th of July, in Brussels. The event facilitated discussions between project partners and participants on BIOMOre’s main goal: extracting metals from deep mineralized zones in Europe by coupling solution mining and bioleaching.

The conference started with the presentation of the project by the coordinator, followed by two keynote presentations on the topic of raw materials. First, Massimo Gasparon, from the EIT Raw Materials, talked about the EU raw materials dependence, the need of these materials for the transition to the green economy, the EU Raw Materials Initiative, and the Knowledge Innovation Communities. The second presentation was by Bjorn Debecker, from the EASME, and explained how the EU is tackling the raw materials challenge, through funding project like BIOMOre. The afternoon session was based on BIOMOre-themed talks with the Work Packages leaders introducing the project in further detail: mining, bio-leaching and sustainability were amongst them.

The BIOMOre project has been working on a New Mining Concept for Extracting Metals from Deep Ore Deposits using Biotechnology. The final objective is to develop an optimized technological concept for in-situ recovering of metals from the surface, without the need of establishing an underground infrastructure. This technology, if successful, will make commodities accessible at depths greater than 1,500 m ( and temperatures around 50 – 60 ºC) which are currently not exploitable using traditional underground methods.

Watch the movie to learn more about the project concept.

FORAM Pilot Event, Nancy

LPRC has attended the pilot event for the World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM) in Nancy, France, on the 27th of June of 2018. The FORAM project aims to create a Forum focused on raw materials, where the relevant stakeholders are involved. This pilot event served as a basis for the future of the platform.

One of the main goals of the event was to create a dialogue with FORAM stakeholders in order to clarify the future role of the World Forum on Raw Materials. First on the event, keynote talks were given, introducing the project and setting the scenery for discussions, which were followed by interactive workshops. Three workshops were organised in parallel sessions: Knowledge Management, Policies and Strategies and, International Cooperation.

The afternoon was place to more keynote talks, where issues around mineral raw materials were debated. The most important outcomes of this event, structured mainly from the workshops’ discussions, were presented and steps for the future mentioned, to an eager audience.

LPRC fully supports the idea of the creation of a World Forum on Raw Materials!

LPRC at the “Building the lithium value chain in Portugal” seminar, Brussels

On the 27th of June, LPRC attended a conference based on the litium value chain. The event entitled “Building the lithium value chain in Portugal” brought together stakeholders and other interested parties in the theme, and LPRC was amongst them.

Lithium is quickly becoming a crucial element for modern society: it leads the electrification of transport and energy sectors, needed for the necessary changes towards a carbon neutral society. This was acknowledged by European responsible persons from the Portuguese and European institutions such as the DGEG and DG Grow, respectively. In order to push for a greener, more sustainable community, the EU needs to foster the entire value chain of lithium, from mineral prospection to recycling, with the circular economy concept as a goal.

Many stakeholders including exploration and processing companies, and users of lithium as a final product such as Tesla and Umicore had talks regarding lithium during this event. One of the main points arising from discussions is that lithium is a very important and strategic element for the future, and Portugal, as well as other European countries, has the potential to explore lithium resources that can make Europe lead the electrification revolution in the near future.

However, there needs to be a lot of effort to improve the current processing technologies, if Europe wants to take full advantages of its natural resources. To support this view the EU has already created groups to deal with batteries and lithium related products issues and will invest more in research and innovation in this field.

The future of lithium in Europe is bright, but there needs to be a common effort from stakeholders to make it happen coupled with a continuous look into the near future.

©European Union

Busy week in Brussels

On June 4, LPRC joined the FTA (Future-oriented Technology analysis) 2018 – Future in the making at the Square Business Centre in Brussels. The event is organised every two years by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The conference opening was held by Vladimir Sucha, Directorate-General of JRC. The keynote speaker, Gerd Leonhard, brought a presentation on ‘Technology vs Humanity’ and reflected over the impacts that the exponential evolution of technology can have in our society and us as human beings. After the plenary, parallel sessions were held, and LPRC joined “The changing nature of work” and the “Changing the paradigm to build a sustainable future?” sessions.

After the opening keynote speech in the morning session, LPRC participated in 3 parallel sessions. The first one, about Scenario design for policy making, involved speakers from private companies, governmental bodies, and EU projects. Here, they talked about a scenario-based strategising approach, counterfactual construction of scenarios for the future, debiasing political decision making trough “value-free” scenario models, using science fiction and design to materialise scenarios, and the combination of scenarios with multi-actor multi-criteria analysis. The second session was entitled “Towards innovative approaches” and showcased many new and hybrid foresight methods that are already being used. At the last session, it was presented an in-depth review of current applications of the Horizon Scanning technique, including foresight radars and circular foresight processes. It was interesting to see how many companies, governments and EU projects are using foresight methods and future studies for various reasons and applications – and there are a lot.

On June 5, LPRC presented the !VAMOS¡ project at the “Social Acceptance in the European Raw Materials Sector” event organised by EASME. The presentation focused on the two stakeholders’ engagements that the project ¡VAMOS! had so far and general aspects of mining social acceptance, with the particular case of a novel technology as is the ¡VAMOS! one. The event brought together a diverse audience and many European projects sharing their experiences with social acceptance in the context of raw materials.

The EU Sustainable Energy Week took place between the 5th and 7th of June in Brussels. The main event, focusing on sustainable energies, was followed by many side events. One of these events, the “Upscaling Blue Energy”, hosted by IMIEU on the 7th, was attended by Tamas Miklovicz, where he presented the CHPM2030 project to the participants. Later that day, at the main venue, EFG and LPRC co-organized a session on “Decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector: coupling efficiency and renewables with security of supply”. During the presentations, Tamas Miklovicz talked about multidisciplinary approaches for geothermal resources, including the CHPM technology, and Anita Demeny (EFG) participated in the panel discussion.

CHPM2030 Cornwall field trip

The CHPM2030 partners met in Cornwall between the 22-24th of May, to study the Cornubian granite province, which is a potential CHPM site in the future. The field trip was led and hosted by Eimear Deady and Richard Shaw from the British Geological Survey.

The first day started at the United Downs geothermal project site. This site is being prepared for a geothermal drilling operation. The well doublet goes into the Carnmenellis granite body and the produced hot water will fuel a demonstration power plant with 1 megawatt of electric power. The next stop from the field trip was at the Carn Brea viewpoint where the tectonic setting, geology and mineralization in the area around the Camborne-Redruth mining district was explained. Next, the partners visited the famous Crowns engine houses at Botallack and had a guided tour at the Geevor tin mine, including ore processing facilities and underground tunnels. In the evening, the CHPM2030 partners had the opportunity to network with industry representatives in Cornwall, including the Cornish Lithium, GeoScience Limited, Avalon Science Limited, Camborne School of Mines and EGS Energy.

On the second day, the group visited the old HDR site at Rosemanowes Quarry in the Carnmenellis Granite. The deep drill holes, (>2000 meters), are still open and perfect for Avalon Science Limited to test and calibrate their latest cutting edge equipments. The next stop was at the Wheal Jane mine water treatment plant. Wheal Jane was a tin mine, which closed in 1991. The water is currently being pumped from the mine and treated in surface facilities. During the afternoon the partners studied the porphyritic biotite granite at Cligga head. Sheeted greisen tin-tungsten (Sn-W) and tin-tungsten-copper (Sn-W-Cu) can be observed with sulphide mineralizations. The second day finished with a discussion about the study area’s evaluation strategies related to WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation to Pilots. The field trip was closed with the visit to Rinsey Cove, where it could be observed how the Tregonning-Godolphin Granite intruded into the local metasedimentary rocks, and their interaction.

360 degree view of the granite-metasediment contact zone, exposed near the shore platform (drag and move the photo to look around).

The CHPM2030 partners gather again in Romania to visit the next study area!

  • Reference: Evolution of the Cornubian granite province, its mineralisation history and geothermal potential – Guide to the field excursion, edited by Eimear Deady, Richard Shaw, Paul Lusty, Chris Rochelle, BGS, soon available from CHPM2030 website.

LPRC at the 2nd SISBRAMME event, Porto Alegre

On May 3, LPRC joined the 2nd SISBRAMME (South Brazilian Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Symposium) held at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This annual event is a joint effort from both the local SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration) and the SEG (Society of Economic Geologists) student chapters. The 2018 edition’s theme was “Base Industries” and LPRC brought in a presentation entitled “Technological Innovations in Mining – Case Studies in Europe”, providing an overview over the portfolio of projects the company has been involved in recently and also the European context for research & innovation in the mineral raw materials sector. The event was attended by students, professors and local industry representatives.

The region of south Brazil is currently experiencing a renewed interest in mining through advanced projects (Phosphate and Zinc), prospect of new ones (Nickel and Gold), deep-sea mining and socio-political debates over environmental impacts and the future of local coal mining. Our Foresight expert and representative Marco Konrat Martins underlined the importance of Foresight as a powerful tool to help researchers, policy-makers and industry to deal with the diversity of expectations and the uncertainties stemming from mineral resources exploitation.

CHPM2030 LTP Orientation workshop, Brussels

The European Federation Geologists organized an orientation workshop for the National Associations (Linked Third Parties), involved in CHPM2030 project. The workshop was connected with WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots, managed by La Palma Research Centre. Earlier in the project, the LTPs were involved in data availability, and now in WP6 the focus shifts to data evaluation. The aim of the event was to update the LTPs about the recent development of the project and to create guidelines and instructions for CHPM prospective areas selection & evaluation.

The workshop started with a welcome and opening from Isabel Fernandez (EFG), followed by Éva Hartai’s (UNIM) presentation about the the project as a whole at its latest development stage. The next talk, by Gerhard Schwarz (SGU), presented the data availability and summary of country reports, that has been done earlier in the project. Tamas Madarasz (UNIM), then explained the details of the CHPM technology building blocks: underground heat exchanger, production pump, metal recovery at high pressure/temperature), surface heat exchanger in the geothermal power plant, gas diffusion electro-precipitation metal recovery, salt gradient power generation, injection well. The next presentation, by Tamas Miklovicz (LPRC), introduced the overall picture at WP6 level, and explained objectives for the study area evaluation. Before the workshop, Anita Demény, from EFG, further detailed the objective of the LTP efforts.

The workshop was divided in two parts: area selection and area evaluation for CHPM technology application. The first part was an example-led discussion, while considering different geological cases and deciding whether it was of interest for the project or not. The second part was dedicated to develop and elaborate an a harmonised framework, that will guide a possible study area evaluation for CHPM potential.

The workshop was very successful in both updating the LTPs on the latest CHPM technology development and on gathering ideas and adjusting the framework for study areas’ evaluation. During 2018, the LTPs will be selecting and evaluating areas in Europe, where the CHPM technology could be applied in the future, thus creating an EU spatial database for prospective locations.