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INTRAW workshop with the Experts, Brussels

The INTRAW workshop with the Joint Panel of Experts (JPE) took place on the 8th of November in Brussels, associated to the Raw Materials Week 2017. The workshop was held in the very same room as the first Solvay Conference, in 1911, which had the presence of scientist like Einstein, Planck, Rutherford and Skłodowska-Curie, among others. High workshop prospects were to be expected with such history!

Solvay Conference, 1911

The INTRAW project is dedicated to foster cooperation between the EU and technologically advanced countries, or the so-called Reference Countries. This meeting was not an exception in pursuing such objective. The workshop was organized as part of the 2nd European Raw Materials Week, and the bulk of the LPRC team was present in the Brussels event. The aim of the LPRC-led workshop was to work out tangible cooperation opportunities between the EU and the five Reference Countries (Australia, Canada, South Africa, Japan and USA). The results can be translated as input to our ongoing deliverable: a report on cross-cutting synergies, emerging scenarios and their potential impact on international cooperation on raw materials.

The workshop started with an overview of the INTRAW project led by the coordinator, Vitor Correia, and after, our colleague Marco Martins introduced the workshop exercise. Within the workshop, the participants were divided into five groups, one for each of the Reference Countries, moderated by the country representative from the consortium and co-moderated by the LPRC members. The main driver for this exercise was to discuss a predefined list of factors, and plotting them on a chart (strength-weakness) considering both a specific Reference Country and the EU, as a basis for bilateral and/or multilateral cooperation opportunities in the field of mineral raw materials. In the end, the individual group results were introduced to the whole in a plenary session and discussed by all the participants. As a result of this interactive exercise, the groups identified the top 3 cooperation opportunities, on a bilateral and even multilateral basis between the EU and specific reference countries. The LPRC team is currently working on the results of this very fruitful workshop.

During the afternoon, the workshop participants stayed for a round table discussion, coorganised by the INTRAW and FORAM projects. The panelists, representatives from the EU, China, Japan and Canada, discussed the challenges on international cooperation on mineral raw materials.

All in all, it was a very fruitful workshop: our team is very proud of all the work!

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!

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!

The 5th INTRAW consortium meeting – Paris, France

The 5th INTRAW consortium meeting was held in Paris on the 22nd and 23rd of March. During the meeting the INTRAW Consortium and Reference Country (RC) representatives from the USA, Australia and South Africa were present. The focus of the meeting was Work Package (WP) 2 ‘Programming’ and WP3 ‘Deployment’. The INTRAW project is working towards developing an ‘International Observatory for Raw Materials’.

The first day began with an introduction and the approval of the minutes from the last consortium meeting in Falmouth, Cornwall. After this, work commenced with an overview of the active work packages, with a focus on WP2 and WP3. Topics discussed in each work package included the schedule, gaps and deviations from original plan, and outcomes and milestones already or soon to be achieved.

Partners at the INTRAW consortium meeting

During discussion on WP2 there was a major engagement of the partners on the three forecasted scenarios for the year 2050, all of which consider four Fields of Action (FoA): Research & Innovation, Industry & Trade, Education & Outreach and Recycling & Substitution. An interactive exercise took place where the attendees reflected on current progress and considered new ideas on a set of defined action plans (a recommendation for stakeholders) on each FoA. This exercise will allow for better and more appropriate actions to be applied, with refinements like these saving time and money at the implementation stage. Subsequently, LPRC representatives Marco and Luís conducted another WP2 workshop exercise with the aim of understanding the effect of cross-cutting synergies between different action plans. During this exercise, partners considered different future scenarios and their potential impact on international cooperation on raw materials.

First exercise involved commenting on defined action plans

Second exercise dealt with analysis and classification of synergies between different action plans

The first day ended with an introductory discussion on WP3 concerning the validation of two important aspects of the project: the strategic plan for the Observatory, and the business plan for its future governing organisation.

The second day centred on more in-depth discussion on the strategic planning and business planning of the Observatory and its governing body, this time also focussing on the statutes of the Observatory. After the timeframe from discussions had ended, the two-day meeting ended with a summary of the work developed before and during the meeting, followed by the clarification of the decisions taken during the meeting concerning the Consortium’s actions for the following months.

In summary, it was a successful meeting, one where the presence of the reference countries contributed in a positive way towards the establishment of the future organisation. These partners have the experience to give valuable input for the international aspect of the Observatory.

INTRAW will end next year, and due to this meeting the preparations for the final steps are now underway.

 

INTRAW WP2 meeting hosted by LPRC

On the 11-12th of January 2017 LPRC had the opportunity to welcome project partners of INTRAW from FCT, Portugal, Assimagra – RecursosMinerais de Portugal, Fraunhofer IAO, Germany and EFG, Brussels and the University of Miskolc, Hungary who joined our colleagues on our road to create an international observatory on raw materials. During these two days, the partners were focusing their efforts on Work Package 2, fine-tuning the Action Plans on R&I, Education & Outreach, Industry & Trade and the Management & Substitution of raw materials.

The overall goal of the project is to set up and launch the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials as a definitive and permanent raw materials knowledge management infrastructure in collaboration with technologically advanced non-EU countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, & US) in response to similar global challenges. For more information, please visit: intraw.eu or follow the project on Twitter: @intrawproject

meeting_work      WP2_group_photo

INTRAW Cornwall meeting

October 3-7: INTRAW consortium, review meeting and workshop with the experts in Cornwall!

On Tuesday the project had its mid-term review meeting with EASME. From Wednesday-Thursday the experts were involved in ongoing project tasks, including the development of the observatory business model and the fine-tuning of the scenarios for the action plans.

On Friday the group visited the Geevor and Botallack tin mines, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Session 3

Session 3: discussion on the observatory services

Session 2

Session 2: fine-tuning scenarios

Ore procssing in Geevor: separation of tin rich grains

Ore processing in Geevor: separation of tin rich grains

Classic Cornwall landscape at Botallack tin mine

Classic Cornwall landscape at the Botallack tin mine.

Second INTRAW WP2 meeting in Brussels

The second INTRAW WP2 workshop took place in EFG’s offices in Brussels. The meeting was related to a scenario building exercise. The partners defined the influence factors during the first workshop and produced projections for each of them as their “homework”.

During the meeting, cross impact analysis were performed in order to develop groups of projections which might plausibly appear simultaneously in the future, with 2050 defined as the target time-horizon.

Luis and Tamas were participating at the workshop.

Far-left: Luis and Tamas participating in the workshop.

INTRAW WP2 meeting in Brussels

INTRAW WP2 just kicked off in Stuttgart with its first workshop.

The partners performed a scenario-building exercise in order to define the most relevant influencing factors which are likely to shape the future of Raw Materials.

Tamas Miklovicz took part in the workshop on behalf of LPRC.

Discussion on the influence factors

Discussion on influencing factors

INTRAW WP2 meeting in Stuttgart

An INTRAW consortium meeting took place in Stuttgart. Work Package 2 (Programming) has just launched under the coordination of Fraunhaufer.

WP2 will ensure the development of cooperation strategies based on the best practices identified in the target countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, S.Africa, US) on applied research and innovation, joint educational and skills programmes, trade, exploration, exploitation, processing, recycling, and substitution in the raw materials sector.

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