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Delphi survey in the pipeline

The LPRC’s foresight team is currently working on a two-round Delphi* survey for the CHPM2030 project in order to look into the future of important but uncertain issues related to CHPM -Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction – technology.

CHPM is a low-TRL, novel, potentially disruptive, but fragile idea, and therefore needs future oriented thinking and further nurturing beyond the duration of the project to become viable. LPRC’s Foresight team has taken on this challenge with the implementation of the Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots work package. These forward-looking efforts aim to set the ground for subsequent pilot implementation by working on three interlinked areas: mapping convergent technology areas, study pilot areas and develop research roadmaps.

Schematic representation of a CHPM facility. ©CHPM2030 Team

The Delphi survey is in direct relation with the first area: mapping convergent technology areas, and represents long-term planning (for the year 2050). Preparation to the survey started with a small-scale Horizon Scanning exercise, including a literature review and an Experts’ workshop in Lanzarote in order to identify relevant factors, drivers, trends and issues to be further investigated in the Delphi. First, the structure and topics were drafted by LPRC and it was refined/completed during the Lanzarote workshop with the input from all Consortium partners. During this workshop, partners were mapping key interest areas (geothermal drilling, scaling, metal recovery, exploration, etc.), identifying gaps (challenges, bottlenecks, difficulties, enablers) within these areas, and then came up with ideas for statements to be used in the Delphi survey. The work has been split into two groups and facilitated by the moderators of LPRC.

Workshop in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The final survey included 12 statements on topics from both geothermal (scaling, geothermal drilling, metal mobilization, etc.) and mineral (geophysical methods, use of AI and ML for data interpretation, deep exploration drilling, etc.) topics, together with overall operational challenges (Social Licence to Operate, market penetration, etc.). The participants were asked to freely comment on the statements in the 1st round. In the 2nd round, the previous comments and insight were already included, so the participants were invited to comment in light of previous Expert opinions, reaching towards a consensus. Additional input fields were added: time horizon and previously identified emerging issues. Together with the 1st and 2nd round, more than 160 surveys have been completed by Experts from both mineral and geothermal sectors, worldwide.

Global participation in the first 1st round of the CHPM2030 Delphi survey.

The 2nd round of the CHPM2030 Delphi survey has just finished! LPRC is currently processing the results. However, if you would like to participate in the following “open” round, with curiosity of the statements, please go ahead and read what the Experts have to say about the future of Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction technology and more: share your own opinion!

Access the Delphi survey here:

*The Delphi survey was originally developed as a technological forecasting technique, which aimed at reaching consensus over relevant technological developments. Nowadays, Delphi expanded into a variety of modified approaches. However, at its core Delphi stands out as a reliable method in situations where individual judgements must be tapped and combined to address an incomplete state of knowledge. Delphi is based on anonymous opinions of experts who are fed back the results of a round-based survey, allowing these experts to rethink their judgement and converge to consensus over key identified areas.

©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.

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.

CHPM2030 Consortium meeting, Lanzarote

The CHPM2030 5th Consortium meeting took place in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, between the 21st and 23rd of March, hosted by La Palma Research Centre. The meeting started with a one-day consortium meeting, followed by workshops on WP4 – System Integration and on WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots on the second day. During the last day, the participants joined to a field trip in the Timanfaya National Park.

The consortium meeting proceed according to the common practice: going through the each of the Work Packages, updating work done and new results since the last meeting (CHPM Brusels meeting, 2017.10.11-14). After a short welcoming of the participants and meeting practicalities from LPRC, Éva Hartai officially started the meeting with an overall project update, followed by a presentation from Aranka Földessy about preparations for the project reporting. The second session continued with presentations on WP2 – Laboratory experiments and orebody investigation by partners from University of Szeged, BGS, VITO and University of Miskolc. The next session in the afternoon presented progress in WP3 – Metal recovery and electrochemical power generation by VITO and KU Leuven colleagues. The first day also included an update on WP5 – Integrated Sustainability Assessment (University of Szeged and MinPol) and WP7 – Dissemination (EFG).

The second day brought something new to the meeting. The WP leaders decided to take a more interactive approach to introduce their work. The morning session was dedicated to WP4 – System integration, and it was moderated by the respective WP leader, Árni Ragnarsson (ISOR). This is a critical work package where the partners integrate and harmonize different elements of the system together. The discussed topics included: Conceptual framework for CHPM (Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction) power plant, Process simulation and optimisation, Process simulation and optimisation, Final design process.

The afternoon workshop was organized by La Palma Research Centre and was focused on WP6 – Roadmapping and Preparation for Pilots. This work package is setting the ground for subsequent CHPM technology implementation in the future. Therefore, it maps convergent technology areas, studies pilot areas and develops research roadmaps, in order to bring the realization of CHPM technology forward in time. This requires short-term planning (including pilot preparation) and long-term planning (including a Delphi survey).

The first WP6 workshop was dedicated to the long-term planning and the development of a CHPM2030 Delphi survey. Marco Konrat (LPRC) introduced the Delphi method, which will be used later to obtain experts’ opinions on the critical interest areas in CHPM technology. Marco explained that Delphi is a long-term foresight tool to make judgements in the face of uncertainty, expert knowledge based, containing 2 rounds of an iterative process, and that it will assess the long term (2050) applications of CHPM technology. After this, Tamas Miklovicz (LPRC) presented Task 6.1 – Horizon Scanning and Visions objectives, structure and methodology for the CHPM2030 Delphi survey. Within this subtask, Horizon Scanning will present a baseline for CHPM technology in 2018, the Delphi will assess the future of the technology, the established Vision (Visioning workshop later this year) will provide a goal to arrive by 2030/2050 and the Roadmaps will set the implementation of how to arrive to the desired vision.  The workshop participants were given the task to first map key interest areas (important for CHPM technology), identify gaps (which is important but uncertain) and nominate concrete issues within the gaps that we are interested in the experts’ opinion.

The second workshop was dedicated to the evaluation of the study areas. Within this subtask all efforts will be made towards the support of the first implementation of CHPM technology. In particular, the focus will be on four areas, represented by BGS (UK), SGU (Sweden), IGR (Romania), and LNEG (Portugal), beside an European Outlook of prospective CHPM location, with the help of EFG LTPs (Linked Third Parties). In WP1 the main objective was to survey data availability on these areas. In WP6 the effort shifts to data evaluation. In order to create a consistent assessment of each site, an evaluation framework has to be set up, which was the aim of this session. Anita Demény presented an update on the LTP work, summarising WP1 results and introducing WP6 planning. After the introduction, the study area representatives presented their plans to evaluate each study area. This was followed by the workshop. The goal of the exercise was to get the technology developers and study area representatives into a dialogue and discuss what a study area evaluation shall include. The technology developers presented requirements, while the study area representatives presented availability at their sites, in a matchmaking exercise.

The CHPM2030 Lanzarote meeting closed with a field trip to Timanfaya National Park, where the partners had a guided tour and learned about the formation and volcanic structures of the park. The eruption started in 1730 and lasted for 6 years – with 100 active volcanoes covering 50 km2! Even though the eruption was almost 3 centuries ago, the volcanic rocks are fresh, due to the arid climate and therefore the lack of chemical/physical weathering. This makes them the perfect place for a geological lesson!

The CHPM2030 Consortium gathers again in Iceland later this year!

LPRC at the Raw Materials Week 2017, Brussels

The second European Raw Materials Week was held in Brussels from the 6th to the 10th of November. This is a recent event, that intends to get together projects, parterns and personel related to the all the areas of raw materials to discuss on the most pressuring topics for the sector. As a team actively dealing with raw materials projects, LPRC was present during this very important forum.

Raw Materials Week 2017

The LPRC members have been present in many events during this week and those include: 1) the INTRAW project consortiun meeting, 2) the EU advanced mining country raw materials diplomacy dialogue conference, 3) the INTRAW Experts Workshop – which was organised by the LPRC team, 4) the Reconciling biodiversity protection and extractive activities conference, 5) the The EU Raw Materials Knowledge Base in support of EU raw materials policy, 6) the Prospecting secondary raw materials in the urban mine and mining wastes (ProSUM) conference and, finally, 7) the MINATURA2020 final conference.

During the week, a poster session was also occurring. There were 6 project posters where LPRC is an partner: UNEXMIN, ¡VAMOS!, CHPM2030, INTRAW, MINATURA 2020 and MICA. These projects that focus on exploration, exploitation and raw materials databases attracted a lot of attention to the Raw Materials Week participants – they fitted perfectly into the thematic.

Preparation of the RMW poster session with the UNEXMIN, INTRAW, MINATURA 2020, ¡VAMOS, CHPM2030 and MICA projects

Being present at this high-level conferences and workshops allowed the LPRC members to gain valuable insight on the issues, challenges and solutions that are linked to the raw materials sector, while also participating in the many discussions held in the many conferences.

We hope to participate again next year!

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!

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!

La Palma Research Centre presents multiple projects at EGU 2017

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.

Cameron Sword narrates an interactive video showing the operation of ¡VAMOS!

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.

Luís Lopes delves into the details of UNEXMIN during his presentation at the ERE1.1 session

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.

Marco Martins outlines the nature of the foresight case-study data used during the MICA project

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.

Tamás Miklovicz comfortably explains CHPM to just one of many similar interested onlookers in the main hall at the Austria Centre during EGU2017

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.

The KINDRA poster explaining the newly launched European Inventory on Groundwater Research

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!


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