Alliances

The power of cooperation

Digi-Raw: The Magnificent seven of the future of mining

Both efficiency and effectiveness lie in collaboration. The best way forward is when we unite and work together. That is exactly the reason why seven European Commission-funded projects in the field of mining (MASTERMINE, DigiEcoQuarry, illuMINEation, SUMEX, ROBOMINERS, Dig_IT, and Rotate) have assembled Digi-Raw, a compelling cluster formed to expand the impact of their work, streamline research, spark innovation, and build enduring partnerships.

Goals

Collaborative knowledge hub with shared objectives
Robust networks for enduring collaborations
Efficient research through insight exchange
Wider project findings dissemination
Innovative, sustainable solutions

Dig_IT is a Horizon 2020 funded project that will address the needs of the mining industry to move forward towards a sustainable use of resources while keeping people and environment at the forefront of their priorities. In order to achieve its objective, Dig_IT proposes the development of a smart Industrial Internet of Things platform (IIoTp) that will improve the efficiency, safety and sustainability of mining operations by connecting cyber and physical systems. The platform will collect data from sensors at 3 levels: (i) human, (ii) assets, (iii) environment and will also incorporate both real time and historical market data.

Europe urgently needs to reduce its import dependency in respect to a multitude of raw materials. To do so, Europe’s mining industry must completely redesign the process of traditional mining via the adoption of pioneering innovations, accompanied by extensive use of data analytics and new types of industrial IoT (IIoT). The EU-funded illuMINEation project will highlight significant aspects of digitalisation in underground mining activities to achieve the highest possible levels of safety, and environmental and economic performance. The project will establish a robust multi-level distributed IIoT platform based on extensive sensor networks featuring wireless communication capabilities. Advanced user interfaces, dashboards, and AR/VR applications will allow for an optimized information flow. A rigorous cybersecurity approach will ensure that all data is properly protected.

ROBOMINERS is a project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°820971). This Project is developing a bio-inspired, modular and reconfigurable robot-miner for small and difficult to access deposits. The aim is to create a prototype robot that is capable of mining underground which will facilitate EU access to mineral raw materials including those that are considered as strategic or critical for the energy transition.

ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics. The robot miner will especially be relevant for mineral deposits that are small or difficult to access. This covers both abandoned, nowadays flooded mines, that are not accessible anymore for conventional mining techniques, or places that have formerly been explored but whose exploitation was considered as uneconomic due to the small size of the deposits or the difficulty to access them.

SUMEX is a H2020 Horizon project. The project supports the set-up of a European sustainability framework to improve the permitting procedure along the extractive value chain (prospecting, exploration, extraction, processing, closure, post-closure activities), to guarantee timely decisions, a transparent governmental regulatory regime, appealing financial and administrative conditions and sustainable natural environmental and social conditions. The main mission of SUMEX is to assist policymakers and other stakeholders in seizing this opportunity. To foster more, but sustainable mineral production in the EU, SUMEX will establish a sustainability framework for the extractive industry in Europe. It does so by considering the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal, as well as EU Social License to Operate considerations and will involve stakeholders from industry, government, academia and civil society backgrounds from all across the EU.

MASTERMINE aspires to become the go-to ecosystem for mines that envision digitalisation, environmental sustainability, productivity monitoring, and public acceptance within their strategic goals. The focus will be on an Industrial Metaverse (ΙΜ) approach to build a digitalized copy of a real-world mine.

The project will demonstrate its applicability in 4 EU demo cases and one replication demo in South Africa. Our mining partners offer access to a total of 10 mines around Europe, producing 10 different raw materials, including 4 CRMs (Cobalt, Coking Coal, Phosphate Rock, and Platinum).

ROTATE is a Horizon Europe-funded project that aims to provide environmental solutions that will contribute to facilitating the generation of synergies between diverse industrial sectors related to mining and quarrying. ROTATE goals are the following: to boost efficiency in extractive sites, enhance circularity and waste valorization, develop sustainable processes along the mining and quarrying productive chain, and improve social awareness about the importance of this strategic sector and its commitment to sustainability. In fulfilling these goals, ROTATE also seeks to ensure a sustainable supply of critical raw materials crucial for the EU industry.

CRMs4EU

PASSENGER (Pilot Action for Securing a Sustainable European Next Generation of Efficient RE-free Magnets) is a four-year project funded by the European Union that aims to develop innovative technology to produce permanent magnets without using rare-earth elements, securing a European, reliable value chain for the responsible production of electric vehicles and pump motors.

REEsilience project aims to build a more resilient and sustainable supply chain for rare earth magnetic materials and products in Europe and will create new market opportunities for critical raw materials more sustainably produced in the continent.

NEW-RE will tackle the recycling challenge of Neodymium permanent magnets (PMs) and of spent lamps contained in electronic waste and e-mobility electric motors. The target is to recycle rare earth elements (REEs) by scaling up a hydrometallurgical process that will produce REEs oxides and iron pigment. Considering the time-consuming activities of dismantling the magnets, an innovative solution for the automatic dismantling of PMs will be developed and its sustainability assessed with LCA/LCC.

Resilient Enhancement for the Silicon Industry Leveraging the European matrix is a Horizon Europe project that has the main aim of improving the resilience and sustainability of critical raw material value chain in Europe. In order to reach this result, the project aims at demonstrating 8 industry-driven technological and business innovative solutions covering the full Silicon value chain.

The SALEMA project is a combined strategy of decreasing the critical raw material dependency (from magnesium and silicon) and creating a sustainable economy in the aluminium manufacturing industry of Europe. The electric automotive sector needs high-performance, sustainable aluminium sources, that is only possible by the generation of a new aluminium ecosystem.

The REEPRODUCE’s ambition is to set up the first sustainable and complete European REEs-recycling value chain at industrial scale, able to produce REEs from EoL products at competitive cost and with environmentally friendly technologies. Achieving this goal will secure an important and strategic value chain for Europe’s green transition

The DINAMINE project aims to radically transform and modernize the mining operation value chain. DINAMINE will demonstrate a smart and integrated mine management approach, relying on data analytics tools for real-time mine-to-port monitoring of the performance, risks, mine productivity and recovery rates, and new technologies for machine automation and robotisation. DINAMINE will also identify best practices for carbon-neutral logistics and transportation, more energy-efficient processing, and handling and reuse of mining waste