Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Sustainable Mining

Sustainable Mining

Period to implement the commitment: 
01/01/2014 to 01/01/2021
Acronym: 
SUSMINE
Existing EU contribution: 
No

Objectives of the commitment

The overall objective is to join efforts with other stakeholders to make Europe an even more competitive sustainable society. The mining industry is an important supplier of efficient and sustainable solutions to meet the needs of modern society for metals and minerals.Safe, Lean and Green technology and an innovative organization shall attract talented young men and women to meet the major challenges and opportunities of future mineral supply. Within this context the specific objectives are to 1) to review existing research and projects attempting to address mining and sustainable development – the current state-of-the-art and to 2) prepare a road map for a future multi-disciplinary yet integrated research program.

Description of the activities

In January 2014 LKAB decided to finance a pre-study (cash contribution k€ 300) managed by Luleå University of Technology. The pre-study stage that will finish in August 2014, will prepare a coherent and effective programme that can support sustainable development in the mining sector. The focus will initially be on the past, present and future situation in Sweden, but it is anticipated that several international partners will put the Swedish case into a broader perspective.

The future programme shall focus on the three pillars of sustainable development in a mining context. The knowledge generated in the program will be valuable to mining companies that wish to (or are required to) integrate sustainability issues in their operations and strategies. Policy makers at the national, regional and local levels constitute an important target group. The road map shall meet the highest international standards in order to attract external funding, and involve participation from high-standing and experienced contributors.

The intended Scope of Works are e.g: • General overview of methodologies in use internationally and in academic research to track and comprehend the evolution of sustainable development in general and of the mining industry in particular. • Benchmark of international studies as related to mining and sustainability (e.g. major mining houses, ICMM, National Mining Associations, INAP, Euromines, World Economic Forum etc.) including significant and prolific academic work. • Set-up of programme structure. An important part of the work is to establish a research agenda within which different scientific disciplines can jointly contribute to the overall aim of the programme in an integrated way, without overlaps and ensuring high-quality research. This aim will in part be based on interviews and iterative discussions with researchers and other experts in e.g. (a) economics; (b) law; (c) history; (d) political science; (e) applied geology; (f) ecology; (g) work science; (h) gender and technology; (i) energy engineering; (j) accounting and control; (k) environmental management; and (l) entrepreneurship and innovation. A number of selected leading international scholars will also be approached. Appropriate case studies will address: (a) the institutional changes (e.g., EU, national, regional, local) as drivers for increased sustainability; (b) environmental domain (e.g., mineral resource management, environmental impacts etc.); (c) economic domain (national, regional, local) and contributions to infrastructure, up-stream and downstream users; (d) social domain (e.g., safety records, development of infrastructure, municipalities and investments in the society as a consequence of mining (e.g. the steel industry) • A detailed plan for dissemination of the research results. These results will be communicated to the international scientific community through several peer-reviewed journal articles in high-quality journals. The results will also be carefully disseminated to stakeholders, policy makers and legal systems. Annual workshops and meetings will be prepared, where both programme researchers and other leading scholars will present important work on the topic of mining and sustainable development. These meetings will constitute an arena for dialogue between the industry, stakeholders and policy makers.

Description of the expected impacts

The main results of the studies, that are planned for 2014-2020 with an annual budget of €1-1.5 million, are methodologies and case-studies demonstrating the contributions of the mining industry to economy, environment and society. By well-chosen benchmarks, proven methodologies for dialogues with stakeholders would contribute to local, regional and national acceptance of new mines. Overall the work should promote a mining industry that can combine long-run competitiveness and alignment with important societal goals (economic, social, environmental etc. By well-chosen methodologies for social dialogues, social acceptance of mining activities would be facilitated with shorter lead times for permitting. The overall contribution would be growth of the economies, improved supply of raw materials from EU sources and higher probability that EU can continue to develop Best Available Technologies and further enhance global technological leadership in mining.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: LKAB
Country: Sweden
Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment:

LKAB has defined and financed the pre-study stage (k€300) and is prepared to lead and finance the major share of the planned programme (€1-1.5 million annually)

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Country: Germany
Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment:
Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research. Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials. Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.

Fundacion Cidaut

Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut
Country: Spain
Entity profile:
Role within the commitment:
CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes. CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.

RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)

Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)
Country: Germany
Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment:
RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.

Universita' di Cagliari

Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari
Country: Italy
Entity profile:
Role within the commitment:
University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.

Relight

Name of the organisation: Relight
Country: Italy
Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment:
RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.

Piaggio Aerospace

Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace
Country: Italy
Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment:
Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

Blackshape Aircrafts

Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts
Country: Italy
Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment:
Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

KU Leuven

Name of the organisation: KU Leuven
Country: Belgium
Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment:
KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes. KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection. KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.

FIDAMC

Name of the organisation: FIDAMC
Country: Spain
Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment:
FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material. FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.

COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER

Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER
Country: Canada
Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment:
Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers. Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.