The 2017 European Geoscience Union’s (EGU) General Assembly took place in Vienna at the Austria Centre from Monday the 24th to Friday the 28th of April. At this large geoscientific gathering, at which over 12,000 participants from academia and industry attended, La Palma Research Centre colleagues took the opportunity to exhibit and present six research and innovation projects.
On the first day of the conference, Cameron Sword opened the Energy, Resources and Environment session with an oral presentation on the European Commission’s Horizon2020 co-funded ¡VAMOS! (Viable Alternative Mine Operating System) project. During the 15 minute presentation, Cameron explained the overall concept and technological components of ¡VAMOS!, its vision for a future of cost-efficient low-impact European mine excavation, and the results of the project to date. After the presentation, multiple questions from the audience were answered, whilst a stimulating debate ensued on the functionality of the system components.
Immediately following the ¡VAMOS! presentation, Luís Lopes gave a detailed and highly technical presentation on UNEXMIN (Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines) – a related EC H2020 project in which mining and robotics scientists are collaborating to create a world-first autonomous underwater mapping robot for use in flooded mines. Luís’ UNEXMIN presentation was highlighted as a ‘significant interest’ topic for the EGU 2017 conference, being selected as one of the most interesting to attend during the week-long conference.
Then, following an engaging presentation on the INTRAW (International Observatory for Raw Materials) project by Chris Keane from the American Geosciences Institute, LPRC’s colleague, Marco Martins gave an insightful talk on foresight methodology and raw materials case studies. Marco’s presentation focussed on work done during the ongoing MICA (Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis) project, including a review of data and stakeholders needs in the field of raw materials.
As a bonus presentation during the morning ERE session, Tamás Miklovicz gave an ad hoc talk on the new H2020 CHPM2030 (Combined Heat, Power and Metal extraction) project. Concluding with an intriguing and extensive discussion from an engaged and interested audience, Tamás proceeded to hold an open poster session on Thursday afternoon on this innovative combined geothermal energy/mineral-extraction project.
Also presented in the main hall on Thursday were the KINDRA (Knowledge Inventory for Hydrogeology Research) and La Noche de los Volcanes projects. Cseko Adrienn explained the purpose and details of the KINDRA project and the recent opening of its signature EIGR (European Inventory on Groundwater Research), whilst Ariadna Ortega took charge of La Noche de los Volcanes by explaining the statistical results and main outcomes of this four-year geoscience outreach project which was comprised of three separate sub-projects at various locations across the seven Canary Islands.
In short, the EGU General Assembly was a successful week of company and project dissemination and promotion, and LPRC looks forward to attending the conference again next year in Austria!
The 3rd CHPM2030 consortium meeting was hosted by the British Geological Survey on the 28th and 29th of March in Keyworth, England. The objective of the meeting was to share and discuss recent developments in Work Package (WP) 2 – Laboratory experiments and orebody investigations, and WP3 – Metal recovery and electrochemical power generation. The meeting also provided opportunity to discuss project management issues, dissemination activities, recap the completed WP1 – Methodology framework definition, and take a glimpse at the upcoming WP4 – Systems integration, WP5 – Integrated sustainability assessment and WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots,
The meeting started with a welcome and presentation from Jon Busby (BGS) on the geology and geothermal settings of England. In the morning, the project coordination team from Miskolc (Éva Hartai, Tamas Madarász and Aranka Földessy) shared project management issues, reporting duties and a recap on the completed WP1. The rest of the day was focussed on WP2 and WP3. Both work packages are ongoing and consist of plenty of laboratory experiments and results to discuss. In WP2, BGS has been investigating the fluid-orebody sample interaction, integrated reservoir management, and metal content mobilisation with nanoparticles. In WP3 the focus was on solutions on how to recover metals using high temperature and pressure geothermal fluid electrolysis by a self developed reactor from KU Leuven. WP3 presentations also covered initial findings from metal recovery from geothermal brines from Iceland, Cornwall and Belgium. The last topic in the session was the potential use of salinity gradient power from pre-treated geothermal fluids with reverse electrodialysis. The day finished with a comprehensive talk on the geology and history of mining in Southwest England by Chris Yeomans (BGS).
During day 2, the upcoming work packages were introduced by the work package leaders: WP4 – Systems integration, WP5 – Integrated sustainability assessment, and WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots. During the afternoon WP7 – Dissemination and WP8 – Project management were also discussed, during which Lisa Delmoitiez (EFG) shared dissemination insights on the project website, brochures, social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and more.
The consortium visited the state-of-the-art laboratories at BGS (SEM and hydrothermal laboratories) where the WP2 experiments are running. The partners also took part in a guided tour along the Geological Walkway, covering geological ages with rocks from across Great Britain.
A CHPM Advisory Board meeting took place in Älvkarleby, Sweden on the 13th of October.
The partners met for the first time with the Advisory Board members. During the morning session, Work Package leaders introduced their WPs. In the afternoon, the AB members provided valuable feedback during the questions and comments section
Before the Advisory Board meeting, an internal meeting took place in order to follow-up the work which had been done prior to the meeting, mostly related to WP1: Methodology framework definition and WP2: Laboratory experiments and orebody investigations.
CHPM2030 is a 42-month H2020 project funded by the European Commission which began on the 1st of January, 2016.
The project aims to develop a novel technology solution which can sate Europe’s demand for energy and strategic metals in a single interlinked process.
LPRC will be the Work Package leader for WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots.
Adrienn and Tamas represented the LPRC team during the kick-off meeting.
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