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CHPM2030 project closure

CHPM2030 Final meeting

The CHPM2030 project partners met in Lillafüred, Hungary, for the last Consortium meeting, hosted by the coordinator, University of Miskolc. On the first day the six WP leaders presented the final outcomes and the status of deliverables. Tamas Miklovicz from LPRC presented WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots and the CHPM Roadmap and recommendations for future research projects (view Prezi slideshow here). Two brainstorming sessions were held, with similar aims: on the first, Tamás Madarász, coordinator from UNIM, facilitated a discussion regarding “Potential for follow-up; How to proceed?”, and the partners discussed each technological components and evaluated whether it shall proceed as a complete CHPM look or as individual components, considering opportunities and threats. The second session was about “Preparation for the pilots, potential funding sources, future projects”. It reviewed each work packages within the project for ideas, funding opportunities, research topics, and the continuation of CHPM technology. Project reporting and financial issues were also discussed in the afternoon.

On the second day, the partners visited the Miskolc geothermal district heating system and its infrastructure (offices, heat exchangers, production/injection wells). The host, PannErgy, introduced the geological, geothermal and engineering aspects of the system.

As of June 30th, the working period of the project officially finished, and now the team is working on the project technical and financial reporting. LPRC is responsible to provide the technical reporting of the whole of WP6.

The objectives of WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots

The CHPM technology is a low-TRL, novel and disruptive but fragile idea, that needs further nurturing and future oriented thinking. Work Package 6 represents these forward-looking efforts and aims to set the ground for subsequent pilot implementation by working on three interlinked areas: mapping convergent technology areas (linked to CHPM exploration, development, operation and market), study potential pilot areas and develop future research roadmaps.These three areas are grouped under the WP6 subtasks: Task 6.1 Horizon scanning & Visions; Task 6.2 Preparation for pilots; Task 6.3 Roadmapping. The work of WP6, including the 3 sub-tasks has been implemented thanks to the coordination and facilitation of LPRC, with the involvement of all Partners, Advisory Board members and external Experts. WP6 ran since December 2017.

Task 6.1 Horizon Scanning and Visions 

Recently, the two main activities in this task were: the 2nd round of the CHPM2030 Delphi survey and the Visioning workshop.

The Delphi survey was a 2 round, expert input based foresight tool, that was completed by 133 participants, worldwide. All Partners received and completed both rounds. Partners, especially EFG and UNIM, used their professional network and channels (website, social media, newsletters) to invite participants. The survey built on the results of the Horizon Scanning exercise, and the 2nd round incorporated the results from the 1st, so participants could re-evaluate their feedback. The survey provided insight about important, but uncertain areas in the future, while mapping convergent technology areas and emerging issues. The results have been processed by LPRC, and were used to define discussion topics and issues for theVisioning workshop.

The CHPM2030 Visioning workshop brought together Consortium partners (ISOR, VITO, KUL, UNIM, EFG, LPRC (methodology & host), BGS) and external Experts (industry, academia), from both geothermal and mineral sectors. The participant selection was based on constructive contribution in the Delphi survey, and partner’s recommendations. The one-day workshop included an introduction with presentations, two group sessions and a plenary. The group sessions focused on setting up targets related to already identified aspects of the technology (exploration, development, operation, market), based on previous results and expert judgement. The last session was about consensus building, where the facilitators presented the group’s results and an agreement was formed about the established targets. 

The results from the Horizon Scanning exercise, Delphi survey and Visioning workshop have been processed and synthesized into Deliverable 6.1 Report on Emerging and Converging technologies, related to the future of CHPM technology.

Task 6.2 Preparation for pilots

This subtask had three activities in the recent period: finalising the evaluation template, evaluating study areas, and creation of an EU spatial database on prospective locations. 

The first step for this task was the creation of the evaluation template (with the help of BGS, LNEG, IGR, SGU, UNIM, facilitated by LPRC) through online meetings, email communication, field trips and a workshop. This served as a “checklist” for important characteristics to consider when looking into CHPM potential. During the creation of the evaluation strategy, a field trip in Romania was organised by IGR (BGS, UNIM, LPRC, participated), following the previous Cornwall field trip (22-24th of May 2018) organised by BGS. A strong emphasis was given to 3D modelling and to compile all available geological information at one place for reinterpretation.

The 5 study areas from 4 countries have been evaluated according to this new strategy, investigating the CHPM potential. With the help of these study reports and the European outlook study, the following items have been clarified: 1) the information available at each area, 2) the CHPM potential based on this geoscientific data, 3) remaining gaps to be overcome in the future. The evaluated areas are Cornwall in South West England by BGS, Portuguese Iberian Pyrite Belt by LNEG, Beius Basin and Bihor Mountains in Romania by IGR, Nautanen and Kristineberg in Sweden by SGU.

The 5 study areas from 4 countries have been evaluated according to this new strategy, investigating the CHPM potential. With the help of these study reports and the European outlook study, the following items have been clarified: 1) the information available at each area, 2) the CHPM potential based on this geoscientific data, 3) remaining gaps to be overcome in the future. The evaluated areas are Cornwall in South West England by BGS, Portuguese Iberian Pyrite Belt by LNEG, Beius Basin and Bihor Mountains in Romania by IGR, Nautanen and Kristineberg in Sweden by SGU.

The British Geological Survey staff (Paul A J Lusty, Richard B Haslam, Richard A Shaw, Eimear A Deady, Paul Williamson) produced a c. 160 page detailed report on SW England. This worked with information sources reported in WP1, and also new information coming out of the ongoing geothermal investigations in SW England (e.g. the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project, and also the GWatt project). A detailed reappraisal of the data was undertaken. In summary, the report considered the availability of geoscience information, the geological environment, geothermal characteristics, potential for deep metal enrichment, and technical, environmental, social and regulatory factors that could influence the future development of CHPM extraction technology in the region. Preliminary modelling of the Cornubian Batholith has been undertaken to improve understanding of its properties relevant to geothermal energy development. A regional model was constructed to understand the spatial relationship of key geological parameters. These data was used for the development of two site-scale models that aimed to improve understanding of the fracture network and flow pathways at the reservoir-scale. South-west England, and specifically Cornwall, is an excellent location for a pilot-scale CHPM system. 

The report on the Portuguese Iberian Pyrite Belt (~50 pages), prepared by the Portuguese National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (Elsa Cristina Ramalho, João Xavier Matos, João Gameira Carvalho), evaluated the Variscan metallogenic province, massive sulphide deposits, prospect for deep mineralization for CHPM potential. The study area report provided an update on the geoscientific data and information on SW IPB, 3D modeling (focused on the Neves-Corvo Mine) and geophysical data. The future research programmes should investigate the deeper ore deposits, with 3D/4D modeling, new deep seismics, 3D electromagnetic forward modeling and 3D inversion. The Lombador orebody, which is present at 2-3 km, has the potential to extend the lifetime of the mine with CHPM technology. Strong cooperation with the mining company that is exploiting the mine and the Portuguese government is recommended.

The report from Romania (~80 pages), developed by Geological Institute of Romania (Diana Perșa, Ștefan Marincea, Delia Dumitraș, Cătălin Simion), provided information about the CHPM potential of the Beius Basin (up and running geothermal heating system, Mg skarns, high geothermal potential), and the Bihor Mountains (granodiorite- granite plutonic body related, skarn (Fe, Bo, Bi, Mo, W), vein (Cu, Zn, Pb, sulphides). IGR has also developed a new 3D geological model, compiling all available geoscientific information of the study area. The future recommendations on this area describe new geothermal models (150 Celsius), refraction seismic for the plutonic body and mineral indications and fracture network modeling for understanding reservoir characteristics.

The Swedish report (~70 pages), delivered by Geological Survey of Sweden (Gerhard Schwarz, Benno Kathol, Magnus Ripa, Bo Thunholm, Edward P Lynch, Johan Jönberger), described 2 ore provinces: Kristineberg area (Skellefte district, volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits, Zn, Cu, Au), and Nautanen area (Northern Norrbotten district, IOCG, Cu, Fe, Au). The challenges here are the low geothermal gradient, limited information at 5-7 km depth, low permeability and hydraulic conductivity and lack of information about deep-seated fluids. It is recommended that future exploration includes identification of metal bearing formation at crustal depths (seismic velocities, electrical resistivity), 3D/4D modelling, stimulation, involvement of the mining industry and ER regional development funds, achieving public acceptance, among others.

Besides evaluating concrete study areas, the European Federation of Geologist (Domenico Marchese, Anita Demény, Isabel Fernandez) led the European outlook for prospective locations, with the help of the its National Associations that are involved in the project as Linked Third Parties (LTPs). In total there were 24 countries covered: Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom. Each National Association had 3 tasks: 1) Area selection: definition of areas most likely to be a future CHPM candidate; 2. Basic area evaluation: the task continued with the evaluation of the basic characteristics of the selected areas; 3) CHPM characteristics: this task considered a deeper investigation and data evaluation of the most likely CHPM sites. EFG and LPRC provided instructions and templates for the LTPs and organised an orientation workshop, so they were full up to date with the task. Through continuous communication with the LTPs, EFG collected the 3 reports for most countries, describing the 3 tasks mentioned above. The result is a selection of areas that has potential for future CHPM application, which has been uploaded to a publicly available spatial database: http://bit.ly/CHPMinfoplatform.

Task 6.3 Roadmapping

This subtask had three future-oriented activities related to 2030 and 2050 time horizons, building different layers of the CHPM roadmap:  1) CHPM component roadmap, 2) Preparation for future Pilots, 3) Overall concept of CHPM. The objective of Task 6.3 was to provide a timeline and direct support for the implementation of CHPM and support breakthrough research. These activities were building on the results of the Task 6.1 and 6.2 and all Partners, AB members and external Experts have been involved in this process. Each layer provided recommendations about how to advance the area and support future pilot implementation. 

The “CHPM component roadmap” provides a direct follow-up of the current technological components, by describing the state-of-the-art (2019: current state of the component, achievements, results during the project, referenced to the relevant deliverable), immediate research plan (2025: next actions, targets to continue the research on the technological component after the project), pilot research plan (2030: requirements of the component before integrating it into a CHPM pilot application), and long term objectives (2050: requirements of the component before integrating it into a CHPM commercial application). The technological components and the researchers working on the roadmap are the following: Integrated reservoir management (Szanyi János, Máté Osvald, Tamás Medgyes, University of Szeged); Metal content mobilization using mild leaching (Christopher Rochelle, BGS); Metal content mobilization with nanoparticles (Steven Mullens, VITO); High-temperature and high-pressure (HTHP) electrolytic metal recovery (Ramasamy Palaniappan, Jan Fransaer, KU Leuven, Xochitl Dominguez-Benetton, VITO); Metal recovery via gas-diffusion electrocrystallization (GDEx), (Xochitl Dominguez-Benetton, VITO); Salinity-gradient power by reverse electrodialysis (SGP-RE) (Joost Helsen, VITO); System integration (Árni Ragnarsson, ISOR).

The “Preparation for future pilots” study investigated the pathway to pilot implementation by 2030, by providing a detailed area description and future recommendations. This task was completed at 5 areas in Europe by their representing partner (Cornwall by BGS, Iberian Pyrite Belt by LNEG, Beius Basin/Bihor Mountains by IGR, Kristineberg and Nautanen by SGU). The recommendations covered 1) future exploration plans for the technological components (getting new geoscientific information, exploration methods and tools to obtain relevant information regarding the technological components (outlined in the evaluation template), 2) funding opportunities (EU funds projects, PPP, private investors, other financing) and 3) Stakeholder engagement (involved parties, end users, stakeholders, policy and regulatory issues).

 “Overall concept of CHPM” study investigated the feasibility of combining geothermal energy and mineral extraction with the use of foresight tools such as Horizon Scanning, Delphi survey and Expert workshops. The emerging issues were split into four main themes (CHPM exploration, development, operation, market). These topics and their subtopics were delivered and refined through the foresight exercises in WP6.

The Roadmapping workshop was the continuation of the Visioning workshop with the involvement of the Consortium partners  and external Experts. The main task of the group work were the validation of previously identified targets (vision) and the backcasting exercise itself (actions). After the workshop, LPRC processed the results, and presented the findings in D6.3, a document about the recommendations on targets, actions, signposts, wildcards linked to exploration, development, operation, and market, including a visualisation for each theme.

The CHPM WP leaders are going to meet one more time at the project review meeting at GeoHub, Brussels in the end of August.

Download and read our reports under the following buttons.

UNEXMIN Consortium meeting, Budapest

LPRC member Luís Lopes recently participated in the UNEXMIN Consortium workshop in Budapest, on the 24 and 25th of June, where the UNEXMIN partners discussed the current state of the technology, the final steps of the UNEXMIN project and the vision and objectives for the future. Discussion and preparation for the field trials at the Molnár János Cave also took place.

The two days event started with discussion on the navigation and autonomy features of the UX-1 robot. Here the technical teams discussed the state-of-the-art of the UNEXMIN technology and the improvements that they need to see to better manage navigation and the crucial autonomy component. After this session, the team focused on the geoscientific evaluation that will need to arise from the data obtained during the different trials. Providing relevant geoscientific data, that cannot be obtained in any other way is the motto of the UNEXMIN technology – the one item that will prove the technology to be of use. The first day finished with a short discussion on the final UNEXMIN conference and its planning – registration is open and free for everyone: https://www.unexmin.eu/unexmin-final-conference/

The second day began with a presentation on the remaining project deliverables, and it continued with interactive debate on future possibilities for the innovative solution. In the afternoon the partners travelled to the Molnár János cave, place where the next and final UNEXMIN field trial will take place, and started the preparations of the testing.

LPRC contributed to discussions on the geosientific data evalutation and preparation as well as relevant input for the remaining period of the UNEXMIN project (until 31st of October) and the future applications of the technology in the market. Glad to be active part in this project!

RoboMiners Kick-off meeting, Madrid

The 13th and 14th of June the Politechnical University of Madrid hosted the kick-off meeting of the newly started Robominers project.

ROBOMINERS will develop a bio-inspired, modular and reconfigurable robot-miner for small and difficult to access deposits and presents a solution for reopening many of Europe’s abandoned underground mines, without the need for a full recommissioning and in particular without the need for dewatering the mine. Under this application scenario it will be possible to resume mining exactly where it was abandoned in the past, which may have been several hundreds of years ago, turn the mine into a profitable business and produce sufficient revenues to cover the costs of a full-scale remediation of any environmental pollution from the past.

The consortium is formed by 14 outstanding members with the coordination of the Politechnical University of Madrid and includes the University of Tampere, University of Miskolc, University of Leoben, the European Federation of Geologists, the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences, Assimagra, the Geological Survey of Slovenia, Resources Computing International, GeoMontan, the Tallin University of Technology, the Mineral and Energy Economic Research Institute of Poland, K-Utec and, of course, La Palma Research.

During the kick-off meeting the novel idea of a bio-inspired resilient mining robot was discussed and the concept of the project was defined amongst all members.

LPRC lead Work Package 8, Active roadmapping & clusters and collaborates in almost all other Work Packages, but most actively in Work Package 10 Dissemination and Outreach.

UNEXMIN presented at EGU 2019, Vienna

The UNEXMIN project was presented by LPRC’s member Luís Lopes during this year’s EGU General Assembly meeting, held in Vienna, between the 7th and 12th of April. The overview of the current and future state of the project was presented to a geoscientists audience, interested in  the future state of the mineral exploration sector.

UNEXMIN’s presentation on EGU 2019 was inserted on the session ITS2.2/ERE4.4 – The New Roadmap for Mineral Exploration: Challenges and Innovative approachesLuís Lopes’s talk on UNEXMIN, entitled “UNEXMIN: an innovative approach for mineral exploration in flooded mines “, focused on the project’s innovative solution that aims to contribute to mineral exploration and mapping of flooded underground mines in Europe, without major costs or associated risks. The past, present and future of the technology were covered within the discussed topics that included the development of the robotic system and the field trials.

During the presentation on the project, there were a roomful of 60 people present. A session on Questions and Answers after the talk provided more input on the project to the session participants. It should be noted that the presentation had a positive and intriguiging effect on the audience: a great part showed interest either by making questions during the Q&A session or by directly talking to the presenter after the talk.

Luís Lopes also assisted to the debate on “Science in policymaking: Who is responsible?” and discussed poster presentations on new innovative approaches in mining with their authors during the poster session. LPRC’s line of work directly shines under geoscience and policy making, and therefore, this was a good opportunity to learn about the state of play in these fields.

Link to the debate on “Science in policymaking” debate: https://client.cntv.at/egu2019/gdb2

The UNEXMIN project was communicated and disseminated with LPRC’s efforts once again!

UNEXMIN at the 2nd International Real Time Mining Conference

The UNEXMIN project co-organized the 2nd edition of the Real Time Mining Conference, in Freiberg, Germany, on the 26 and 27 of March 2019. UNEXMIN worked together with the Real Time Mining and SOLSA projects – all Horizon 2020 raw materials funded – to bring together experts from raw materials exploration fields to debate the future of mining exploration.

The first day of the conference included a demonstration of the Real Time Mining project outputs – both on the field and  on the conference room. First, participants had the chance to go inside the Reiche Zeche mine, in Freiberg, where the Real Time Mining project personnel showed and explained their project’s activities. After the visit, participants were invited to learn more about the RTM project’s outputs, results and findings. A series of short presentations introduced each of the Work Packages.

The actual 2nd International Real Time Mining Conference was held on the second day, the 27th of March. The conference brought together technical and overview talks from the UNEXMIN, Real Time Mining and SOLSA projects, and presentations from experts of the mining industry. The contribution from research, education and industry showed by the presentations made an overall picture of the current state and advancements of mining exploration and provided a look into the future.

In total, the UNEXMIN personnel gave four talks during this day. From LPRC, Luís Lopes presented the current state of the UNEXMIN project, as of March 2019. The presentation was well received and gathered a lot of interest in the project and to the more technical presentations that followed. Then throughout the day, presentations on the multispectral camera and its data, 3D mine mapping tools and findings of the field trials, were given by partners University of Miskolc, INESC TEC and Geological Survey of Slovenia, respectively.

Download the UNEXMIN presentation – Project Overview – Real Time Mining conference (March 2019)

By the end of the conference the UNEXMIN team left with a sense of duty accomplished. The project was communicated to a wide range of stakeholders and interest in the project was, once more, raised. LPRC was proud to present the UNEXMIN project and to contribute to discussions towards a more innovative European raw materials future.

CHPM2030 Roadmapping workshop, Las Palmas

LPRC organised the CHPM2030 Roadmapping Workshop in Las Palmas as a follow-up of the previous Visioning workshop, under WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots. The participants were selected from both Consortium members and external research centres and companies from the geothermal and mineral sectors.

After the introduction presentations from Tamás Madarasz: CHPM2030 State of the art, Tamás Miklovicz: WP6 context, and Marco Konrat: Roadmapping methodology, the main tasks were the validation of previously identified targets (vision), and the backcasting exercise itself. The targets are related to  two distinct time horizons: 2030 pilot level (TRL 6-7), and 2050 full scale application (TRL 8-9). The sum of the targets is the vision description, and it is formulated as the desired end-state to arrive by 2050. The proposed targets were delivered at the Visioning workshop with the use of the results from the Delphi survey, and the Horizon Scanning exercise.

In short, the Vision describes where to go (targets) and the Roadmap outlines how to get there (actions + timeline). The backcasting exercise allowed the CHPM team to investigate how to reach the goals and what actions and paths need to be taken and pursued. Whenever investigating a target, the group considered three aspects, when formulating the actions: 1) underlying research & knowledge, 2) capabilities, performance & technologies and, 3) partnership and actors. When thinking about the long term targets in 2050, “wildcards”, unexpected disruptive events that may influence reaching the vision, were also considered. The participants were split into two parallel groups for the sake of the exercise: development and exploration, and operation and market, facilitated by Tamas Miklovicz and Marco Konrat, respectively. At the last session, all participants came together and the group facilitators presented the results from the previous two sessions.

This line of activities will be only one layer of the final CHPM2030 roadmaps. This particular aspect is testing the overall concept of the cross fertilization of the geothermal and mineral industries. The second layer consists of investigating concrete areas for CHPM application and providing gaps and recommendations at four EU study areas in Sweden, UK, Portugal and Romania. The third layer is the direct followup and research plan of the current technological components of the CHPM scheme. When put together, these elements will make up the final Research Roadmap for the CHPM technology.

During the second day, the participants visited the Spanish Bank of Algae, as part of a field trip The facility provides many services, including the bank of microalgae and cyanobacteria strains, genomic DNA bank, algal biomass production for industry, production of seaweed extracts on demand for companies in the biotechnology sector, analysis of samples for the determination of algae, deposit and maintenance of strains for registration of industrial property. More than 2000 algae strains are stored in the algae bank and  many interesting research activities were presented to the group. The next stop was PLOCAN, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands. The guided tour included a presentation of the ongoing activities and research of the infrastructure and a visit to the control room and laboratories with ROVs, sailbouys and submarine autonomous gliders.

The LPRC team will now take these new input and start drafting the roadmaps for the CHPM technology in the future! We will present the roadmap at the final conference in Delft, and it will be finalised later in June!

¡VAMOS! Final consortium meeting & Final review meeting, Brussels

The ¡VAMOS! project, from where the consortium developed an innovative mining system, is now over. The final consortium meeting was held on the 30th of January and the final review meeting with the European Commission and the project reviewer on the 31st of January. Now it is time to wrap up the results and collect the fruits of future collaboration.

The consortium meeting brought together the project partners to discuss on the overall achievements during the past 4 years. The partners were very happy with what was achieved from this ambitious project. Discussions on the short and medium-term futures were held among the partners. It is essential to find a common ground to continue and exploit the results arising from this project.

On the other hand, during the review meeting, all the work done during the project was presented and scrutinized by the Project Officer and reviewer. Presentations covered topics such as policy, future research and stakeholder engagement (where LPRC participated) and others on the actual development of the technology – the mining machine, EVA and the LARV, amongst others. The consortium got a very positive feedback from the work done, which certifies the value of these 4 years for all the partners.

LPRC is pleased to have been able to be part of such a consortium and project. Our role on Policy, Stakeholder engagement, Dissemination and Future research prospects helped the project in many ways. We hope the future is bright for ¡VAMOS!

Read more about the outcomes and future of ¡VAMOS!: http://vamos-project.eu/the-outcomes-and-the-future-of-the-vamos-project/

Watch the final ¡VAMOS! video – ¡VAMOS! project movie

INTERMIN Consortium meeting

During the last two days of January, project partners and the members of the Advisory Board gathered in Madrid at the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (IGME) to have a detailed discussion on the project progress and plan ahead with the work for the upcoming year.

On the first day, the first two work packages were presented, including their status and upcoming tasks. WP1 is collecting contacts of raw materials related training centres across the world, while developing a reference skills catalogue. WP2 managed by LPRC is focused on assessing skills gaps in the raw material sector under three timeframes – short-, medium- and long-term. The status of this research was presented by our colleague, Marco Martins and discussions followed by the experts with projections on sector developments for the next decade. WP2 closed its session with the kick-off of the scenario development exercise, ran by BRGM and Futuribles. Scenarios are being developed for exploring important raw materials drivers and trends, which in turn will support the creation of a Competency Model for raw materials skills and competences.

The second day of the meeting started with a cluster session from EIT Raw Materials, INFACT Project and MIREU Project, exploring potential cooperation with INTERMIN. The meeting finished with discussions over the plans for implementation of the network of training centres as well as the project planning for 2019 and a short but impressive visit to the Museum of Mines. Next meeting is expected to be held between September and October 2019 in South America. Stay tuned for updates!

CHPM2030 Visioning workshop, Las Palmas

LPRC recently organised the CHPM2030 Visioning Workshop in Las Palmas. The participants were selected from both Consortium members, external research centres and companies from the geothermal and mineral sector. The workshop is part of the project’s forward looking exercise which is aiming to set the ground for subsequent implementation of the CHPM (Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction) technology in the future (2030/2050). The goal of this workshop is to create a shared vision, clear picture, description about how the technology ideally evolves by 2030/2050 and set tangible/measurable targets for it.

The workshop begun with introductory presentations (Tamas Madarasz: CHPM state-of-the-art, Tamas Miklovicz: WP6 context and Marco Konrat: Visioning methodology), to which the main exercise followed: the group discussion of given topics (eg. drilling) about requirements vs. achievability and targets that must be achieved before the CHPM technology can reach pilot level (TRL 6-7) by 2030 and full scale (TRL 8-9) by 2050. The different topics were grouped as  exploration and market, development and operation. Each contained subtopics and issues that had emerged during the Delphi survey. This was not a exhaustive list, and the participants added new issues or reformulated relevant ones during the group work. The aim of the group work was to set measurable targets at each relevant issue for 2030 and/or 2050 (eg. reduce drilling cost by 2030 within 30%). The sum of the targets is the vision for the given area.

The last session was about consensus building. For this, the team brought all group visions together (per area, per time horizon) and created a shared vision for 2030 and 2050. There is still a lot post-processing to be done, but the work will now continue with fresh ideas and new input. The CHPM 2030 and 2050 roadmaps will be based on this vision and will outline actions in order to meet the proposed targets and arrive at the desired future.

On the second day, the participants visited PLOCAN‘s oceanic research platform. The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a Research Infrastructure (RI) labeled by the ICTS (Unique Scientific and Technological Infrastructure) Spanish National Roadmap. The visit covered a boat trip to see the offshore platform, and a presentation at the onshore laboratories about the ongoing PLOCAN research and blue economy of the Canary Islands.

The work will continue with processing of the workshop results, and prepare the Vision for the Roadmapping activities in early 2019!

¡VAMOS! Open Day and Advisory Board meeting, Nenagh, Ireland

The ¡VAMOS! project is now having its second field trials where the mining technology developed by a team of European researchers and companies is being tested and constantly improved. In Ireland, the ¡VAMOS! project found the perfect place to test its equipment in an open-pit flooded mine, resulting from an abandoned mine site. Together with the Open Day, where the team showed the technology in action to a number of stakeholders, technical and advisory board meetings also happened during the 24 and 25 of October.

On the 23rd of October, the ¡VAMOS! team held a technical meeting reserved to the partners that are involved in developing the many specialised bits that compose the ¡VAMOS! technology: the mining vehicle and the Launch and Recovery Vessel are just a few examples. During this meeting partners discussed the current state of their specific components and of the technology as a whole. Discussions led into a planned line of work that will translate into further improvement of the technology even during the field trials period in Ireland – that should extend for a few more weeks.

Then on the 24th, coupled with presentations on the project, local geology and mining history of Nenagh and Ireland, the ¡VAMOS! team held an Open Day during which around 80 visitors had the chance to see the innovative mining technology in action. Visitors were divided into groups and introduced to see different parts of the technology at a time. This allowed the visitors to have a better look and understanding of the technology. The visitors gave input to the project, both on engagement and exploitation that will surely be helpful to the project.

The last day of this period, the 25th, included both an Advisory Board meeting in the morning and an Exploitation Workshop in the afternoon. During the Advisory Board meeting, the ¡VAMOS! line of work was presented to environmental and mining experts with the aim to get their opinions and advice on the development of the technology, what should still be done and how. Fruitful input from the experts was given and it will surely benefit the project development as a whole.

To this, the Exploitation workshop followed. During this, the ¡VAMOS! partners had an intensive discussion on the future of the project and how to capitalise on the project’s innovative mining technology. How, when, what and who, were some of the questions around the future that were posed and answered by the consortium.

All in all, these few days were very benefitial, not only for the project partners that had interesting discussions as well as received input from expert stakeholders, but also to the visitors – geologists, researchers, locals – that had a unique chance to see the ¡VAMOS! technology in action. Their support to the team is a good tonic for the future that is to come!

Events

EU Raw Materials Week 2019

The 4th edition of the EU “Raw Materials Week” will take place from Monday 18 to Friday 22 November 2019, in Brussels. It builds up on a series of events organised by the European Commission addressing the latest news on raw materials in the EU. The RMW will be a unique opportunity for the raw materials community to discuss and exchange on all relevant issues: policy, technology, international cooperation, framework conditions, knowledge base etc.

Further information, registration and reference: www.eurawmaterialsweek.eu

UNEXMIN Final Conference, Brussels

This event will provide a unique opportunity to discuss the UNEXMIN project overall and its specific fields of work, including minerals exploration, raw materials exploitation, and robotics and ICT development, with cross-cutting discussions that aim at demonstrating the impact that UNEXMIN can have on the European landscape.

The programme sessions are: 1) setting the political context: the future of mining in Europe, 2) Raw materials and mining, 3) robotics and functionalities and 4) round table – mineral exploration: future and long-term initiatives.

Registration to the event is free of charge: https://www.unexmin.eu/unexmin-final-conference/#tab-id-5

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