UNEXMIN & ¡vamos! at the Real-Time Mining Conference, Amsterdam

During the 10th and 11th of October, both the UNEXMIN and ¡vamos! projects were present at the Real-Time Mining Conference, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The two projects offering research and innovation action solutions, had members from the consortia presenting talks to the audience regarding an overview of the work developed and present and future steps.

Real-Time Mining Conference kick-off

The Real-Time Mining conference brought together researchers from 4 EU-funded projects: SOLSA, Real-Time Mining, ¡vamos!, and UNEXMIN and external interested parties such as other project and industry participants. The main goal was to show what each project is working on and the different solutions to overcome the difficulties. The exchange of ideas and rising of synergies between different activities become a welcome reality after each presentation.

The conference kickstarted with the overview presentations of the four above mentioned Horizon2020 projects. From LPRC’s side, two members of the UNEXMIN and ¡vamos! consortia were present at the Real-Time Mining conference – they gave the overview of these respective projects.

¡vamos! and UNEXMIN received a lot of attention with their talks, which was reflected in the great amount of questions and further discussions, even during the breaks. The next sessions for the first and second days were dedicated to more specific talks regarding positioning and material tracking, automated material characterization, resource modelling and value of information, process optimization and, data management.

The Real-Time Mining conference was very successful in all aspects. For LPRC, it meant communicating the projects, raising awareness of the future technologies, finding new ideas and making valuable contacts for the future.

UNEXMIN La Palma Workshop

On the 3rd and 4th of October, 2017, the UNEXMIN consortium got together in the island of La Palma, Spain, to discuss some very important aspects of the project. Among these there were discussions on the current development of the project, the near future steps and the way to go when the time to exploit the results come – making the novel UNEXMIN technology available to the market.

The first day started with the always necessary discussions related to the developments of the project: past, present and future were all analysed. After this groundwork, the consortium started a debate to make a plan on how to explore the UNEXMIN technology to the market once the project is over.

LPRC members giving a warm welcome to the workshop participants

The discussions around the future exploitation of the UNEXMIN project and its results extended to the second day of the meeting. To finalise this fruitful workshop, an early exploitation plan and course of action were successfully defined. This action will ensure the everyone is working towards the same objectives.

The discussions were partly held under a nice environment

The LPRC team, host of this UNEXMIN meeting in La Palma, actively participated in all the discussions giving some very useful input for the definition of the exploitation plan.

The consortium partners, who loved “La Isla Bonita”, as La Palma is known, will get back together in Bled, Slovenia, for a consortium meeting.

The UNEXMIN partners present in La Palma

See you all there!

CHPM2030 Brussels meeting

The combined CHPM Advisory Board, review and internal progress meetings took place between 11-14 of September, in Brussels. The objectives of the meeting were to receive feedback from the Advisory Board, complete the first review meeting with the Project Officer, catch-up on WP2, WP3 and WP7 work progress, and to prepare for the upcoming work packages that will soon start (WP5 and WP6). The Advisory Board (AB) of the project consists of a group of nine experts in the fields of geothermal, minerals and economics, from all over the world. The experts are annually advising on the project progress, now for the second time (see last AB meeting in Sweden).

The meeting started with a half-day internal preparation for the AB and review meetings with a quick wrap-up on the work-in-progress on Monday afternoon. The second day was fully dedicated to discussons with the AB members. In the morning the completed (WP1: Methodology framework definition) and the ongoing (WP2: Laboratory experiments and orebody investigations, WP3: Metal recovery and electrochemical power generation) work packages were presented and discussed, at their most current state. During the second half of the day, the AB members were answering pre-identified questions from the consortium related to all work packages.

On the third day, CHPM2030 project had its first review meeting with the project officer, Susanna Galloni. The coordinator, Tamás Madarász, gave an overall outlook on the CHPM2030 project, this was followed by the work package leaders presenting WP1, WP2 and WP3 (see above). All major milestones have been accomplished thus the project is ready to move into the next stage.

During the afternoon, the meeting continued with preparation and planning for the upcoming activities. Specifically, LPRC is responsible for WP6: Roadmapping and preparation for pilots. This work package is going to start in December, later this year, where the overall objective is to bring the first pilot/commercial implementation of the CHPM scheme forward in time. Breaking down this objective, WP6 will focus on three overarching tasks: map convergent technology areas, set a background for pilot implementation and develop research roadmaps (for years 2030 and 2050). Tamas Miklovicz, from LPRC, presented the future of this WP during the last session of the meeting, with the draft time schedule for implementation.

On the last day, the partners were invited to visit the state-of-the-art laboratories of VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), where many of the WP3 experiments are ongoing. Partners Joost Helsen and Xochitil Dominguez, from the home institution, showed the instrumentation and explained all the science/engineering behind it.

Look around in the visitor centre of VITO geothermal project:

The next CHPM2030 meeting is going to be organised by us in the spring of 2018!

KINDRA Steering Committee Meeting & World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden

The most recent KINDRA meeting, that took place in Stockholm on the 29th of August, was dedicated in particular to discuss the progress and the first results of WP3 – Trend & Gap Analysis, to evaluate the functionalities of the advanced search options of the European Inventory of Groundwater Research (EIGR) for aforesaid analyses, to review the status of country reports, all while agreeing on the planning for the forthcoming months and discuss the long-term future (maintenance and update) of the project inventory (EIGR) – a very important outcome of the KINDRA project.

KINDRA Steering Committee discussion on the future of its groundwater inventory (EIGR)

Consortium members discussing the first results of WP3 – Trend & Gap Analysis

LPRC’s team presented the state-of-the-art of the communication & dissemination activities related to the project and highlighted the steps to be taken to improve (a final boost) the project during the last semester. As part of the ongoing dissemination efforts, project partners were present in the World Water Week in a booth jointly hosted by FREEWAT H2020 project throughout the week (29th-31st of August).

FREEWAT & KINDRA booth at the World Water Week, Stockholm

You can meet KINDRA at the end of September at the EIP Water Conference organised in Porto and/or at the 44th Annual Congress of IAH to be held in Dubrovnik.

 

FEMP annual reunion in Sopron, Hungary

The Federation of European Mineral Programs (FEMP) annual reunion took place in Sopron, Hungary, organized by the University of Miskolc. FEMP organizes and co-ordinates the European Mining, Minerals a nd Environmental Program (EMMEP) for students in Resource Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering, Mineral Processing, Recycling and related academic studies. Tamás Miklovicz, as a former student of the European Geotechnical Environmental Course (EGEC), organized by FEMP, participated in the event. Every year a reunion is organized to gather former students, academics and industry rep resentatives for an informal weekend with networking and interesting events

The reunion kicked-off with a guided city tour and welcome reception on Thursday, 31st of August. Next day, after the FEMP industrial members business meeting, the reunion was opened by the organiser, Ferenc Mádai. The morning session included a workshop, discussion about the Minatura2020 project, which was introduced by Zoltán Horváth. Before the workshop, Tamás Miklovicz had a one-slide addition, providing an outlook on Horizon 2020 opportunities and its best examples, including UNEXMIN, INTRAW and CHPM2030 projects.

During the workshop, the participants were divided into three groups, based on the factors that define Mineral Deposits of Public Importance (MDoPI): Level of Geological Knowledge, moderated by Zoltán Horváth, Environmental and Social aspects, moderated by Tamas and Economic considerations, moderated by Ákos Csicsek. Such factors are Background Geological Information & Knowledge – known or unknown mining/quarrying districts, Impact of Past Exploitation Activities in a Specific Tract, Social Acceptance, Compatibility With Other Land Uses, Contribution of an Active Operation to the Added-Value Chain of Mineral Products, etc. The participants realised that these factors are rather complex and many of them can have a positive or negative effect on future mining activity. The participants explained some of their experience at mines they were working. As a conclusion, there are many good examples where mining operation, surface or underground, is very welcome by the local community, however generally speaking, there are a lot of work needs to be done to harmonize mining operation with other land uses.

In the afternoon session, the best master thesis have been presented from the just graduated students. One of the highlight is the Development of a comprehensive system Model for a Magnetic Density Separation Process Line from Wokke Wijdeveld, which dealt with a novel type of separation technique, using water based magnetic ferrofluid, mixed with grains of different density. The mixture is put into an electromagnetic field that creates a vertical density gradient, which separates the particles, based on their type (density), so it can be divided into its base products.

During the whole event, a poster section was open with UNEXMIN, KINDRA, CHPM and INTRAW posters, allowing the participants to get familiar with these interesting projects.

The reunion closed with a very relaxed bike tour and BBQ. But EIT Raw Materials certified courses continue, highly recommended for any student interested in the mineral raw material sector.

Next year see you in Delft!

Hydrogeological side note

The Canary Islands host many natural phenomena. One of them is a significant part of the hydrogeological system which provides drinking water for the islands’ inhabitants and irrigation for the land. The annual precipitation in La Palma can vary between 300 and 1400 mm (MC Cabrera) depending on the altitude. However, a significant source of groundwater comes from “horizontal rain,” a process which involves Canary pine trees (Pinus canariensis), low altitude clouds, porous tuff and impermeable dykes. When humid air from the ocean moves over the volcanic mountains of La Palma, it is forced to ascend to a higher altitude by the topography of the island. As it cools and its pressure decreases, at a certain height water precipitates and cloud is formed. Since the air is ascending along the mountain, the clouds are often formed at ground level and flow though the Canary pine tree forests as they continue to rise. The type of pine tree endemic to the island typically has needles as long as 15 cm long. Water droplets are captured on these needles from the rising clouds, fall onto the ground and enter to the subsurface. A volcanic island, La Palma is not lacking in layers of porous tuff and igneous dykes. Water can easily flow through these tuff layers and collect in reservoirs, which are then trapped and sealed by impermeable dykes. These water bodies can be accessed and drained by horizontal tunnels, or water mines, as the locals call them.

It is also interesting that Canary pine trees have a thick bark, saturated with resin, both characteristics that help them to survive forest fires and regrow.

360 degree view under a Canary pine tree (drag and move the photo to look around).

Internship Opening!

We are looking for a new enthusiastic social media-savvy colleague! Get an inside scope on what it is like to work on international EU research projects in our science centre located in the Canary Islands. Our work focusses on various aspects of earth sciences, addressing both applied and basic research related to earth systems, resources and raw materials.

Your tasks will mainly concern preparing and creating visual content for our reports and the communication of our research results through our websites and social media pages. We would like you to set up a social media policy and start a blog for the company. This involves doing background research on science communication techniques and actively seeking interesting technical content to write about, to generate maximum interest. You will need to communicate your findings clearly internally with your colleagues during team meetings and in written reports as well as take up and translate your colleagues ideas to the outside world. We are a small company with a dynamic and flexible work environment, so you will have a chance to get involved in many of our other daily tasks and activities as well. Our wide range of research topics and activities requires being able to learning by doing, to work independently and to have a positive can-do attitude. We also want to learn from you!
We are looking for:
A student or recent graduate in geosciences or a related field, with an interest in science communication and visualizations techniques.

PLUS – Are you?
• A virtuoso in the English language
• An excellent Communicator
• A curious Creative mind
• A bit of Technology geek
• A Social media native

Does this sound like you and are you ready for a little adventure? We are offering a 3 month unpaid internship with the possibility of a 3 month extension. There might be a possibility for full-time employment afterwards. All work-related expenses like travel and accommodation will be covered and arranged for you. We would prefer you to start in September. You will be working from our office in the centre of Los Llanos de Aridane on La Palma, Canary Islands – a few minutes away from a café with the best hand-made ice-cream in the world*. On “the beautiful island” you are never more than a few kilometres away from the beach and the mountains. The internship might also involve possible work trips to our soon to be opened branch in Brussels and possible other locations in Europe.
For more information or to express your interest, send your CV and a short motivation letter to: career@lapalmacentre.eu

* According to our Dutch team leader. Italians might disagree.

UNEXMIN Progress Meeting in Porto

From the 4th to the 6th of July, the UNEXMIN Consortium got together to discuss UX-1’s development. The meeting was hosted in Porto, Portugal by INESC TEC. LPRC was represented by Luis Lopes.

The first day was dedicated to a review of the state of the project, which began 17 months ago. The review was conducted work package by work package and finished with WP8 – Dissemination, Technology Transfer and Exploitation, where LPRC has a big role. At the end of the day, everyone was satisfied with the results achieved and most importantly, with the rapid development of the UX-1 robot’s software and hardware.

During the second day, UNEXMIN partners presented their work to the Project Officer and to external expert reviewers. Following the review, INESC TEC personnel showed the Consortium their robotics lab, where they are carrying out their work within the framework of UNEXMIN.

Water tank at INESC TEC laboratory, used for testing

The final day was reserved for technical discussions regarding UX-1. Developing such a new advanced technology is complicated and needs constant effort from all partners in order to ensure good project growth.

The UNEXMIN team

MICA consortium meeting – Paris, France

The most recent MICA project consortium meeting took place at the Paris FIAP Jean Monnet Congress Center from the 13th until the 15th of June.

The first day covered progress meetings for the different work packages (seven in total) in the project as well as a management board meeting. In the WP5 ‘Minerals Policy Context’ meeting, the work package where LPRC contributes the most, Marco Martins briefed on the Foresight Methodology Workshop held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on May, 2017, and how its outputs can help the work developed within the work package and the MICA Platform (EU-RMICP) – the ultimate goal of the MICA project. Additionally, case studies developed by the partners for the MICA Project on Economic and Industrial Ecology Methods in the Raw Materials context were presented.

Discussion sessions held regarding WP5 (Minerals Policy Context)

On the second day, a project plenary session was held, providing an overview of the project’s progress for each work package to all the audience and further discussions were held. The advisory board members that were present in this consortium meeting had an opportunity to make comments and suggestions, which are always welcome.

The last day brought external experts into the consortium mix to make presentations on past experiences regarding ‘Material Flow Accounting and Data’ gathering. The meeting ended in the afternoon with an exercise to develop approaches (“flowsheets”) for answering specific stakeholders’ questions by referring to specific data and methods, which in turn will support the development of the platform (EU-RMICP).

The ‘flowsheets’ exercise in action

The MICA Project ends in the beginning of 2018 and everyone, including LPRC with focus on WP5, is making an effort to achieve great results with the new MICA platform.