Project to reinvent water and waste in mining
© Stephen Codrington

Project to reinvent water and waste in mining

The ITERAMS project is to reinvent water and waste in mining by developing new methods to allow the EU to be at the forefront of minimal waste, minimal energy and minimal water consumption in the mining sector.

The ITERAMS (Integrated Mineral Technologies for More Sustainable Raw Material Supply) project aims to significantly reduce water consumption by circulating process waters and reducing the amount of tailings waste through valorisation of the mineral matrix. The project focuses on the complete isolation of process waters from the adjacent water systems.

This will require the development of new methods for optimising and controlling water qualities at each process step.

The project develops new holistic water and waste concepts and systems, which will result in higher technical, economic and environmental performance in raw materials production.

The developed ITERAMS water and waste efficient concepts are jointly validated by industrial and research partners at their mine sites. Three sites at Boliden (Finland), Somincor (Portugal) and Anglo American (Chile or South Africa) were selected to validate the results in various conditions, for example in a number of mineralogical and geographical areas. Information from laboratory tests, process assessment and technology validation was used for the development of the water recycling testing protocol.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is acting as the co-ordinator of the EU-funded three-year ITERAMS project.

The project will end on 31 May 2020 and has a total budget of €7.9m.

The consortium is multidisciplinary, covering the disciplines of geology, mining, minerals processing, microbiology, thermodynamics, chemistry, water and environmental sciences, sustainability, process modelling and simulation in close co-operation between academia and industry.