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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!

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!

FORAM final and review meeting, Brussels

On the 29th of October, LPRC was present at the last meeting of the FORAM project, that officialy ended two days later, on the 31st. This meeting coincided with the review meeting by the EC and both were held together. FORAM fostered international cooperation on raw materials while gathering support from stakeholders from all over the world.

The one-day event consisted in the presentation of the 6 Work Packages’ line of work, results and future. Among others, major focus was put on the roadmap work package, the one that will dictate further exploitation of the projects results, conducting in the establishment of a World Forum on Raw Materials in a near future. All project partners strongly support and offered their help for further exploitation of the results, in line with what have been delined by the FORAM roadmap.

The project review went very well, with Jonas Hedberg, FORAM’s project officer, stating that the project has achieved what it proposed in the beginning in a timely fashion. The PO is now eager to see the exploitation of the results in the short to long-term, and which would see FORAM turning into a sustainable EC-funded project. Again, the creation of a World Forum on Raw Materials would strongly show this.

All good things come to an end, and so did the FORAM project. However, this is the perfect opportunity for a new beginning, instead of a goodbye!

INTERMIN questionnaire

Since February of this year, LPRC is part of the INTERMIN-Project which is funded by the European Union’s H2020 scheme. The 36-month Project aiming at the creation of a self-sustainable long-term lasting international network of training centres for the raw materials sector.

One significant part of this project is to make an inventory of all the post-graduate training programmes in the field of raw-materials engineering that are available (not just in the EU but worldwide). In order to facilitate this task our colleagues have prepared the enclosed survey. Based on this survey and a thorough assessment of the future technological development and prospective shortages of specific skills we want to identify possible gaps and build on this, preparing the community (not just the partners of the project-consortium) for the future.

We are all very thankful if you could spend a few minutes of your time helping us. If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Philipp Hartlieb from Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Philipp.hartlieb@unileoben.ac.at), who compiled the survey.

Please find the survey in the following link: INTERMIN questionnaire. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer this questionnaire. It will take approx. 10-15 minutes.

The INTERMIN Consortium

Events

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