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PERSEPHONE Meeting, 10 & 11 April 2024, Brussels, Belgium

The La Palma Research Centre team met for the first time the PERSEPHONE Project Consortium on the 10 and 11 April 2024, in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting was dedicated to discussions on WP 1 – Specifications and requirements for enabling sustainable deep mining. PERSEPHONE aims to address current and future mining challenges by developing pioneering technologies for pushing the limits of EU mining industry and embodiment of autonomous and integrated mine exploration capability to access deep deposits of critical raw materials through hard-to-reach deep and abandoned mines. Within this project LPRC acts as a Associated Partner of INTRAW.

The two-day meeting focused on analysing the tasks of WP 1, which involve the definition of the specifications and requirements that the project team needs to take into account for sustainable deep mining operations in the future. Therefore, discussions involved potential end-user requirements for technologies for exploration and extraction of raw materials, framework conditions and evaluation scenarios for implementation of the new technologies.

The role of LPRC in this project will be the development of technology roadmaps and regulatory frameworks for the future development and implementation of the PERSEPHONE technologies.

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LPRC co-hosted the recent CRM-geothermal webinar

LPRC, partner in the CRM-geothermal project, co-hosted a webinar between this project and RAWMINA, entitled “Frontier technologies for sustainable extraction of critical raw materials”. Both projects are working towards critical raw materials recovery from mine waste and geothermal fluids, a recent trend in the raw materials field.

Marcio Tameirao Pinto, Project Manager of LPRC, was the co-organizer and co-host of the webinar session. He also presented the ClusterHub ‘Materials for batteries’, where CRM-geothermal is a member. Recording can be seen here.

This webinar was an excellent opportunity to bring together the research and industry communities working on the recovery of critical raw materials, to discuss the innovation in the field.  The recordings of the presentations given are available online.

SuperCluster Lapland Geoconference, Rovaniemi, Finland (30 & 31 October 2023)

The SuperCluster Lapland Geoconference will take place on the 30th and 31st Octobre 2023 in Rovaniemi, Finland. This clustering event represents a significant effort to address the EU’s dependency on critical raw materials and promote self-sufficiency in mineral supply value chain. Some of the key points about the event are:

  • Dependency on Critical Raw Materials. The EU relies heavily on a limited number of countries for critical raw materials, which are essential for strategic industries like e-mobility, batteries, and renewable energy.
  • Opportunity for Self-Sufficiency. Europe has the potential to become self-sufficient, resilient, sustainable, and responsible in its supply of critical minerals due to its geological resources and significant mineral endowment.
  • Multi-Element Mining. Critical raw materials are often obtained as by-products from primary commodity mines. Transitioning to a multi-element mining approach is necessary, requiring new exploration methods and concepts.
  • EU-Funded Projects. Thirteen EU-funded raw materials projects and the University of Queensland (Australia) are collaborating to organize the European Union SuperCluster Lapland Geoconference. These projects focus on research and development in the raw materials sector.

The main objective is to bring together a diverse range of stakeholders, including the European Commission, EU projects, regional authorities, industrial representatives, exploration companies, and other interested parties in order to discuss technological challenges and topics related to the raw materials sector.

This initiative represents a crucial step in addressing the EU’s raw materials challenges and fostering cooperation among stakeholders to enhance the region’s self-sufficiency in critical minerals. It provides a platform for sharing ideas and innovations in raw materials exploration and supply.

Event Structure and schedule:

The event will include 20-minute oral sessions, poster presentations, and dedicated discussion time to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration. There are no planned keynote talks, as the focus is on hearing from as many EU-funded project participants as possible.

Oral presentations are divided into five sessions between October 30th and 31st:

  • Session 1: Innovative mineral exploration: 30th at 10.15 – 12.00
  • Session 2: Earth observation in exploration and mining: 30th at 13.15 – 15.00
  • Session 3: Environmental, Social and Governance in exploration and mining: 30th at 15.30 – 17.30
  • Session 4: Critical Raw Materials supply: 31st at 08.30 – 10.00
  • Session 5: New frontiers for exploration: 31st at 10.30 – 11.45

This event will be the biggest clustering event for the EU-funded raw materials-related projects and other projects ever. Around 130-140 people will attend, representing 28 projects. LPRC will participate representing 5 of those projects: CIRAN, CRM-Geothermal, ROBOMINERS, START and TRIDENT.

 

CRM-Geothermal 1st Progress Meeting, Falmouth, UK (June 2023)

The recent CRM-Geothermal event brought together consortium members in Falmouth, UK, to conduct the 1st Progress Meeting of the project, from 13 to 15 June 2023.

The agenda included Work Package presentations, strategic breakout sessions to discuss several topics, pilot site visits, and a remarkable geological field trip in Cornwall:

  • Experts presented the achievements and future plans of various Work Packages, providing insights into research advancements and exciting prospects.
  • Partners engaged in productive discussions during breakout sessions, aligning thoughts and developing coordinated plans to address challenges and leverage collective expertise.
  • Pilot site visit led by Geothermal Engineering Ltd and Cornish Lithium, showcasing the local potential for research in a pilot plant.
  • A geological field trip in Cornwall that revealed valuable observations, including granite-sediment contact, mineralization processes (Cu & Sn), and fracture zones, enhancing understanding of the geological features in the region.

In this opportunity, LPRC took part in the presentations related to Work Package 6 on communication and dissemination of CRM-geothermal. LPRC leads Task 6.6 – Clustering, in which it was highlighted the recent efforts to cluster with projects with common topics and challenges, fostering collaboration and accelerating progress.

CIRAN project Kick-off, Brussels, January 2023

The recently started CIRAN EU-funded project held its Kick-off meeting in Brussels, Belgium, and the LPRC team was present to meet project partners, discuss the objectives and map the many implementation aspects of CIRAN, especially the ones that are most relevant to LPRC.

CIRAN – CrItical RAw materials extraction in enviroNmentally protected areas – is an EU-funded Horizon Europe project that aims at reconciling two societal objectives and needs: protecting environmentally sensitive areas and increasing socio-economic resilience. The project that just started on the 1st of January 2023 and that will last until 31st December 2025, counts with 13 partners from 11 European countries. The project partners met for the first time in Brussels, Belgium, on the 10th and 11th of January 2023 for the Kick-off meeting, organised by INTRAW, the project coordinator. The total list of consortium members includes:

  • International Raw Materials Observatory (INTRAW)
  • MacCabeDurneyBarnes (MDB)
  • Geologian tutkimuskeskus (GTK)
  • Telos Aleff (TAL)
  • Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning (SGU)
  • Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA)
  • Regione Emilia-Romagna (RER)
  • La Palma Research Centre (LPRC)
  • Geologia e Geotecnia Consultores (GGC)
  • Generator (GEN)
  • Proman Consulting (PRM)
  • Petronavitas (PN)
  • Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA)

The agenda of the meeting focused on connecting and engaging with project partners, generating trust and a collaborative environment for the project implementation. From this perspective, the work plan for the project was detailed and discussed. LPRC attended to present the planned work for Task 3.3 – Nexus between policy decisions and drivers of change and Task 7.1 – Communication and outreach. LPRC leads these two tasks where it will implement foresight-based exercises to collect data from experts on the connection points between policy and drivers of change that affect policymaking and develop, create and implement communication tools such as the website, social media, brochures and other material to connect the project with the relevant stakeholders.

Project work will now continue and more news will follow.