Integrated eco-technology for a selective recovery of base and precious metals in Cu and Pb mining by-products
Project Acronym MINTECO
PN III 3.2 Horizon 2020 ERA-MIN2, contract 51/2018
Telephone: +40213522046/int 114
Total Project Costs (Euro) 973.834
Requested Funding (Euro) 693.700
Project duration: 01.05.2018 – 30.04.2021
The MINTECO project aims to develop an integrated innovative, efficient and ecological technology for the recovery of base (Cu, Pb, Zn) and precious (Au, Ag) metals from Cu and Pb bearing mining waste (CLBM).
The project will allow the establishing of a global management methodology to treat historical mining sites and to reduce disposed volumes of metal-bearing waste. The MINTECO project will be tested on a selected case study on CLMB (3 mining sites identified in Romania, Poland and Turkey) by using pre-concentration methods (mineral processing) to separate non-useful compounds contained in the coarse fractions followed by leaching of concentrated fractions to dissolve all targeted metals and their recovery by innovative techniques (using dedicated synthesized organic molecules, thiosulfates and ionic liquids).
The main steps (pre-concentration/ leaching/ high grade metal recovery) will be studied in detail by research institutes to optimize first relevant process sequences. Then, a global coherent flowsheet will be proposed and the developed technologies will be subsequently validated by the industrial partners (SMEs) in the project at TR>4. Also, a final economic and environmental assessment will be performed.
The consortium gathers 8 partners from 4 countries (France, Romania, Poland and Turkey) and is composed of 3 research institutes,1 university, 1 public institution and 3 SMEs with complementary expertise.
Major scientific and technological objectives of the project
o1. Development of an integrated innovative, efficient and ecological technology for the recovery of base and precious metals from copper and lead bearing mining wastes;
o2. Establishing of a global management methodology to treat historical mining sites;
o3. Validation of the developed technology at pilot scale;
o4. Economic and environmental assessment of the integrated technology;
o5. Intellectual property rights protection.
Novelty and originality
- New integrated innovative, efficient and ecological technology for the recovery of base and precious metals from copper and lead bearing mining wastes;
- New global management methodology to treat historical mining sites;
iii. Development of pilot stage validation for the recovery of metals from mine tailings;
- New databases regarding the mining wastes deposits in the Baia Mare area;
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analyses for the developed technology.
- Main project results
- Integrated innovative, efficient and ecological technology for the recovery of base and precious metals from Cu and Pb bearing mining wastes;
- Databases regarding the mining wastes deposits in the Baia Mare area;
- High impact journal articles in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.
The MINTECO project has for guideline the design of a Decision Support Tool for operators dealing with waste dumpsites management to help metals recovery in such secondary resources. Optimized treatment methodology will be tested on case studies. Innovation is proposed
for leaching/recovery steps. Environmental and economic assessment will give an integrated description of the purpose, with the objective of proposing viable solutions.
The expected impacts on short and medium time perspective concern a support in:
- helping increasing metals recovery and mitigates import dependency of EU28.
- proposing integrated scenario to manage mining site rehabilitation: including environmental, human health and safety impacts and metals recovery.
The main expected economic impacts are:
- Improvement of economic viability and environmental efficiency of recycling operations;
- Development of recovery processes of rare/strategic metals from mining by-products;
iii. Stimulation of EU28 competitiveness by creation of added value, new jobs and business for recycling companies and for processing equipment and technology providers.
The project has substantial environmental benefits as listed below:
- Reduced landfill storage of the investigated by-products,
- Reduced pollution in air, soil, waters with poorer bearing-metals waste.
iii. Better separation reduces the hazardous waste tramp concentrations in these by-product fractions allowing higher reuse applications. The key environmental benefits of materials recycling are the savings of non-renewable resources such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Metal processing has major impact through mining, the energy used in smelting and refining, and resultant emissions and waste. Using recycled steel requires 62-74% less energy and 40% less water and reduces air pollution by 86% and water pollution by 76%. Reducing CO2 emissions (and meeting CO2 targets) is an immediate priority as 80% of the energy is consumed by the production of metals. All benefits will be quantified in the LCA analyses.
- Actually, we observe the diminution of consumption of natural resources (water, aggregates, primary materials, etc.). For this reason, the introduction of secondary materials is very important. The issues taking into account are the emissions of greenhouse gas, emissions containing toxic components in the air, water and in the soils and sediments, the flow of primary and secondary wastes, the reduction of pressures on the natural resources, notably at the exploitation level.
The new line of processing guarantees the recovery of considerable amounts of metals and materials with the additional resource savings, preservation of materials, keeping metals within the materials cycle. LCA studies indicate a possible decrease of 10% in the use of energy consumption and green-house gas production using the new technologies. For human health and ecosystem quality, impact reduction of 20 to 40% is expected.
The present project will confirm and validate the ambitious EU recycling targets set in the mining by-products and Landfill Directive. They are still low in developing European countries where the largest gains are possible.