The French Geological Survey (BRGM) estimated in 2000 the deposited mine waste around Europe by 4,700 Mt on dumps and 1,200 Mt in tailings. In consideration of significantly higher metal grades in former mines than nowadays, as well as recovery rates far lower than today, it is obvious that the metal content in the tailings and dumps will be higher than the grade of ores in the mines currently exploited. Accordingly, the mentioned large amount of mine wastes around Europe will become crucial for Europe’s supply of critical raw materials.
One of the project objectives is to establish a Network of Infrastructure (NoI) of experts within the EIT RawMaterials community, developing superior technical infrastructure to foster technologies and methodologies for sustainable RE-ACTIVATION of former mine sites. Another high ranked objective is the environmental benefit caused by the RE-ACTIVATION and secondary upgrading of former mine sites, waste rock dumps, tailings and slag heaps as well as strictly controlled depositing.
The NoI will also be the single point of contact for any relevant expertise in the particular fields. Each of the NoI partners has specific knowledge and experience about one or more aspects of RE-ACTIVATING former mine sites, ensuring best practice on technical, legal, economic and environmental solutions for every phase of RE-ACTIVATION projects.
Therefore, this NoI stands for an “EIT RawMaterials Excellence Centre for RE-ACTIVATION of former mine sites with ability to integrate multidisciplinary experience in this field and to deliver valuable support to all stakeholders in the process of such raw materials projects.” The main planned activities can be summarized as network building in 2017, service building activities in 2018 and service establishment in 2019.
The participating partners are covering major regions in the main target area Europe, with relevant access to potential projects. Hence, the NoI will be able to deliver a clear impact in securing raw materials supply within Europe. As a major impact, the NoI work will stimulate investment by reducing the risk for new investment in RE-ACTIVATION projects in European countries and by attracting different stakeholders. However, the European example, covering first class standards, can be expanded to all raw material regions worldwide. Benefit can all stakeholders in raw materials projects, like raw material companies, responsible authorities and the society, represented by NGOs, interest groups (e.g. environmental, first nations, cultural hesitates), local or regional agencies or individuals.
What problem does RE-ACTIVATE address?read more »
Many old mine sites still bear environmental risks and hazards like acid mine drainage, soil contamination with heavy metals or potential failing of tailing dams. At the same time, the European Union aspires to secure critical raw materials supply and a sustainable use of resources in a circular economy. Reworking old mine sites will solve and mitigate environmental problems on the one hand, and generate economic value on the other.
Who will benefit?read more »
RE-ACTIVATING old mine sites has a remarkable positive impact on many stakeholders, e.g. local people, as new jobs are generated and environmental hazards and risks diminished. The local economy is strengthened, further industry settles. The government benefits from an improved land use and the mitigation of environmental hazards through a state of the art approach and the usage of best available technologies. A private owner of an old mine site can benefit to the same extend. Moreover, the European Union secures domestic production of critical raw materials and finally, the RE-ACTIVATE consortium benefits by applying the offered services.
Which services does the consortium offer?read more »
Offered are direct or consulting services in each stage of RE-ACTIVATING former mine sites, including most aspects of exploration, process development, operation and mine closure.
My company wants to RE-ACTIVATE a former mine site, what do I do?read more »
If you are planning to get involved in RE-ACTIVATING a former mine site and need professional advice or are interested in one or more of our offered services, please get in touch with us.