Molecular thermodynamic model for solvent extraction of mineral acids by TBP
In the framework of the HE ENICON projects, SOLVOMET/SIM² KU Leuven researchers Lommelen & Binnemans developed a molecular thermodynamic model for the solvent extraction of minerals acids using TBP.
TARANTULA Clustering Event: Conclusions on SLO in the Mining and LCA Methodologies for (re)processing of low-grade primary and secondary resources
TARANTULA project hosted the cluster event titled “Social License to Operate in mining sector and LCA methodologies for (re)processing of low-grade primary and secondary resources”.
The Twelve Principles of Circular Hydrometalllurgy
The SOLVOMET Group is delighted to announce the publication of its long-awaited position paper “The Twelve Principles of Circular Hydrometalllurgy” in the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy.
Final EU CROCODILE video released during EU Raw Materials week
The closing EU CROCODILE video has been released. Featuring Nand Peeters (KU Leuven), Flavia Forte (Eco Recycling) and Zhangqi Wang (Accurec), the video covers the recycling value chain for the recovery and refining of Co from spent Li-ion batteries.
Documentary “Responsible Mining in Europe”: what the experts say
On October 20, 2022, the documentary “Responsible Mining in Europe: A new paradigm to counter climate change” was officially launched. Here we provide an overview of testimonials as obtained from various experts worldwide.
“(Re)mining extractive waste – Perspectives for the EU?” (November 15, Brussels)
SAVE THE DATE for the satellite event of the EU Raw Materials Week “(Re)mining extractive waste – Perspectives for the EU?” (Closing NEMO event – Le Plaza Hotel, Brussels, 15 November 2022, 2 pm).
Four lessons learned from PROMETIA Tech Tour 2022 – Northern Sweden
During 4 days, young students and researchers from 9 different institutions gathered in Sweden to visit mines, smelters, R&D centers and industrial plants. Here is the report of Carlos Quintero (SOLVOMET/SIM² KU Leuven).
Comparison of mixer-settlers and an agitated column in cobalt/nickel SX
Within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 project NEMO, SOLVOMET/SIM2 researchers have compared the effect of mixer-settlers and agitated columns on the separation of cobalt and nickel with Cyanex 272.
Unravelling the chemistry within non-aqueous solvent extraction
SOLVOMET/SIM² researchers have published their research on the effect of polar organic solvents on the solvent extraction process for rare-earth separation. The research was performed in the framework of the H2020 project NEMO.
Five Lessons Learned from the (Re)Mining Symposium (May 17-18, 2022)
To remine or not to remine extractive waste in Europe? That was the core question during the symposium “(Re)Mining Extractive Waste, A new business?” (Mechelen, May 17-18, 2022). SIM² Director Peter Tom Jones summarises the main lessons learned.
Global perspectives on reprocessing of mine tailings (High-level expert panel)
On March 10, 2022, the joint NEMO/CROCODILE/TARANTULA expert panel discussed the “Global perspectives on the reprocessing of mine tailings”. The objective was to find common ground and to enable the elaboration of specific EU policy recommendations.
Heavy rare-earth separation process successfully tested on pilot-scale level
Within the context of EU NEMO, SIM² KU Leuven/SOLVOMET researchers developed a non-aqueous solvent extraction process for the separation of heavy rare earths (HREEs). The work was published in Separation & Purification Technology.
A new study on Nb-Ta-oxide minerals in P-rich rare-element pegmatites (Buranga)
SIM² KU Leuven geologists have described the occurrence of Nb and Ta oxide minerals associated with complex phosphate mineral assemblages in phosphorus-rich pegmatites. The work is published in the American Mineralogist.
ETN SULTAN releases new video: “Waste from the past, houses for the future”
Can mining waste become a raw material for (circular) construction materials? In this new video, the EU MSCA-ETN SULTAN team highlights the project results in terms of remining present day and historical sulphidic tailings.
Enhancing metal separation by non-aqueous solvent extraction: a critical review
SOLVOMET/SIM² researchers have published a critical review paper in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research on the different systems and mechanisms of non-aqueous solvent extraction, providing a framework for future processes.
Solvometallurgical process for the recovery of tungsten from scheelite
SOLVOMET/SIM² KU Leuven researchers developed a conceptual flowsheet for the non-aqueous recovery of tungsten from low-grade scheelite sources. The work was published in the journal Industrial and Chemical Engineering Research.
New Thematic Section on extractive waste in Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy
SULTAN, the EU Training Network for the remediation and reprocessing of sulphidic mining waste sites, has launched its long-awaited Thematic Section in the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, comprising 10 research papers.
Symposium “(Re)Mining extractive waste, a new business?” (May 17-18, 2022)
The 2-day symposium “(Re)Mining extractive waste, a new business?” gathers leading experts in the field of (re)mining of mining-related waste, with a focus on the tailings that arise during the mining and processing of sulphidic ores.
How urban mining can boost gender equality: the TARANTULA vision
The development of novel technologies in the raw materials extraction and processing can help to promote at the same time a secure and sustainable future for Europe and gender equality
International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy – RawMat2021
In the framework of the International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy #RawMat2021, held on September, 5-9th 2021 in Athens (Greece), Lourdes Yurramendi presented the Oral Communication: Recovery of tungsten from downstream mineral...
TIC 62nd General Assembly (2021)
The 62nd General Assembly will be held in London, UK, on November 14th to 17th 2021. On this event Tecnalia and PNO will present our TARANTULA project. The 2021 conference will explore issues such as: How by-product tantalum from lithium mining could...
Which geological processes control Nb-Ta-Li and W-Sn pegmatite deposits?
SIM² KU Leuven geologists have revealed a close relationship between the geometry of W-Sn and Nb-Ta-Li bearing hydrothermal veins and pegmatites in Iberia and the deformation processes active during the Variscan orogeny.
5 lessons learned from the event “Recycling mining waste, a new business?”
On April 27 more than 220 people participated in the event “Can the recycling of mining waste become a new business?” Three experts from EC DG ENV, Boliden & Cronimet shared their views. Here are the main lessons learned…
Oxidative dissolution of metals in organic solvents: a critical review
SOLVOMET/SIM² researchers have published a critical review paper in the high-impact journal “Chemical Reviews” on the oxidative dissolution of metals in organic solvents, which can offer a solution when aqueous systems fail.
PLATIRUS Exploitation Workshop (April 21, 2021)
The PLATIRUS project is organizing an Online Exploitation Workshop on 21 April. The event will bring together stakeholders from across the Europe who are interested in the topic of the recovery of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) from a wide variety of waste resources...
“Recycling mining waste, a new business?” (April 27, 2021)
Registrations are open for the Lunch Event “Recycling mining waste, a new business? (27 April 2021, 12.30-13.30 pm CET). Three experts will share their views on the recycling of mining waste, covering a variety of case studies.
What is the value of the ‘Social License to Operate’ concept (for resource extraction)?
Researchers from Wageningen University and SIM² KU Leuven reviewed recent SLO-literature and concluded that the way how SLO is conceptualised and often implemented in practice, does little to enhance the legitimacy of resource extraction.
The EU TARANTULA team took part in the RMIS-H2020 workshop
After participating to the RMIS workshop of December 3, 2020, TARANTULA will collaborate with the EC JRC for the development of the RMIS.
Understanding the crystallisation of cassiterite & spodumene mineralised pegmatites
SIM² KU Leuven geologists Hulsboch and Muchez were able to assess the impact of fluid immiscibility on the fractionation and precipitation of lithium, tantalum and tin in pegmatites from Rwanda. The work was published in Lithos.
ICAMCyL will represent TARANTULA at the next RMIS workshop
On 3rd December 2020, the 4th workshop of the RMIS (Raw Materials Information System) will be held online by JRC (Joint Research Centre) and EASME (European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises) and it will have as object “Channelling knowledge from European...
CRM list 2020: how critical are W, Nb and Ta for EU in 2020?
Recently the EC published its updated, fourth list of Critical Raw Materials. In this article Martina Orefice (SIM² KU Leuven) assesses the (increased) criticality of Nb, Ta and W, the target metals for EU TARANTULA.
“Recycling the strongest metals”, TARANTULA’s new video
Referring to the Greek mythological figure of Tantalus, Seftel Elena Mihaela (VITO) and Martina Orefice (KU Leuven) explain the concept of the TARANTULA project in this new animated video: “Recycling the strongest metals”.
Upgrading CERN with niobium-tin magnets
The imminent deployment of accelerator magnets based on the superconductor Nb3Sn for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) at CERN serves as a springboard to future accelerator magnets for fundamental exploration.
The Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize 2020
The Ekeberg Prize is the annual award that recognizes excellence in published research about the element tantalum (Ta). The Ekeberg Prize increases awareness of the many unique properties of tantalum products and the applications in which they excel.
Meet our TARANTULA colleague: Mark Foreman (Chalmers University)
Dr. Mark Foreman is an associate professor at Chalmers University in Sweden. He is very much interested in solvent extraction. Within the TARANTULA project, he aims to develop new solvent extraction processes that allow for an efficient recovery of niobium and...
Chalmers researchers are probing the properties of new green solvents
“Solvent extraction at Chalmers has given us a new insight, figuratively speaking it is like a new form of vision”, says Mark Foreman, Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling and one of the authors behind a scientific paper recently published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
And… Action! Testing Tantalus – TARANTULA project video recorded
On Friday June 19, two strong women bravely fought a fierce battle against the mythical figure Tantalus… Why is this relevant here?? Well, it is the opening scene of the TARANTULA project video! In reality two researchers from KU Leuven and VITO (dr. Martina Orefice...
Mining precious metals at home during the global COVID-19 lockdown?
A BBC Future article featuring Ana Maria Martinez (SINTEF) illustrates that old electronics are domestic mines of precious metals. Martina Orefice (SIM² KU Leuven) provides further background referring to several EU projects.
New video: The Missing Link of the Circular Economy 2.0
“The Missing Link of the Circular Economy 2.0” video shows why the waste of the past cannot be consigned to oblivion. A comprehensive Circular Economy vision should, therefore, find answers for Europe’s 500,000+ landfills.
The green transition challenged by the metal supply chain
How feasible is the transition to a climate-neutral economy (European Green Deal) in terms of the availability of the required (critical) metals? During the March 12 Seminar in Brussels an expert panel tried to provide answers.
33rd Annual General Meeting International Tungsten Industry Association (San Francisco, September 20-23, 2020)
The 33rd Annual General Meeting of the International Tungsten Industry Association will be organized in San Francisco (September 20-23, 2020). The event is hosted by Kennametal Inc. and is open to both members and non-members.
61st General Assembly of the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (Geneva, October 11-14, 2020)
The 61st General Assembly of the T.I.C. takes place in Switzerland on October 11-14, 2020. The T.I.C. was established in response to concerns within the tantalum industry regarding the lack of useful information on tantalum source materials.
Sustainability of artisanal mining of cobalt in DR Congo
How sustainable is artisanal cobalt mining in DR Congo? That’s the research question which was addressed in a Nature Sustainability paper by a group of researchers of the University of Lubumbashi in collaboration with a team from KU Leuven.
Why tungsten, niobium and tantalum are critical raw materials
“Critical Raw Materials”, such as the iconic “rare earths”, are gaining more and more attention. Less-known CRMs are tungsten, niobium and tantalum, which are targeted in EU TARANTULA. Martina Orefice (SIM² KU Leuven) investigates why these elements are critical and what TARANTULA can do about that.
Selective roasting of NdFeB magnets for ionic liquids leaching intensification
Rare-earths permanent magnets were selectively roasted with 5 wt.% carbon to obtain a rare-earth phase, separated from iron particles. After mechanical removal of the iron particles, the rare-earth phase was recovered in only 20 min by using the ionic liquid [Hbet][Tf2N].
New video: The Dark Side of the Circular Economy
“The Dark Side of the Circular Economy” is the title of the ELFM V Symposium Aftermovie (5-2-2020). Referring to the EC’s pending Circular Economy Action Plan the video highlights one major blind spot in this plan. How will we deal with the waste of the past?
T.I.C.’s 60th General Assembly (conference and AGM) on tantalum and niobium (Oct. 2019)
On October 14th to 16th the T.I.C. held its 60th General Assembly (conference and AGM) in Hong Kong SAR, China. This event is the world’s leading international tantalum-niobium conference, and this year, despite the negative journalism about Hong Kong in recent...
How will Europe become climate neutral by 2050? Challenging the EU Green Deal
Register now for a seminar on “Green transition challenged by the metal supply chain”. The event takes place on March 12, 2020 in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels (Belgium). Various EU H2020 projects will cluster around the challenges they face.
Interview with Markus Reuter: Inconvenient truths of the circular economy
“Inconvenient truths of the circular economy” is the title of an interview with prof. Markus Reuter for the Aurubis magazine in which the main challenges and opportunities of recycling and the circular economy are analyzed.
Methanesulfonic acid proves its potential in solvometallurgy
Methanesulfonic acid (MSA) has proven again to be a suitable lixiviant for the recovery of valuable metals. Within the SMART project, the SOLVOMET group has developed a solvometallurgical process for the selective recovery of lead and silver from industrial residues.
Public acceptance of mining and recycling in Europe: six recommendations
Public acceptance or the ‘Social License to Operate’ is widely acknowledged as the biggest financial risk for the mining sector. Six different perspectives and recommendations coming from six different sectors were debated during a satellite event of the EU Raw Materials Week (22 Nov. 2019).
9th Trilateral EU-US-Japan conference on Critical Materials (Nov. 2019)
On November 19 2019, the 9th Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference on Critical Materials was held as part of the Raw Materials week 2019 in Brussels. During the conference, representatives from EU, US and Japan exchanged information about their recent research initiatives...
TARANTULA attended the Raw Materials Week
The corporate TARANTULA poster was presented during the EIP Raw Materials week
“Stairway to Sustainability” – SOCRATES project video reveals final results
The short movie ‘Stairway to Sustainability’ reveals the results of the MSCA-ETN SOCRATES project. The researchers have found ways to transform the various metal-containing industrial process residues into recyclables and high-added value outputs. And they even made a staircase out of it!
Second TARANTULA consortium meeting in Seville
The second consortium meeting of the H2020 RIA TARANTULA took place on 5 and 6 November 2019 in Seville, Spain.
A jackpot from the waste
The use of lithium in the production of cathode materials for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIB’s) that maked it a strategical raw material
Open Position for a Professor in METAL RECOVERY FROM MINERAL FLOWS
The Science, Engineering & Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Materials Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering, has a joint, full-time academic vacancy in the area of metal recovery from mineral flows. We are...
T.I.C.’s annual tantalum-niobium conference was held in October in Hong Kong
In October 2019 the T.I.C. - also a partner in TARANTULA - held its 60th ‘General Assembly' (annual conference) at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong. In October 2019 the T.I.C. held its 60th ‘General Assembly' (annual conference) at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong. This...
T.I.C.’s latest tantalum-niobium newsletter is now available online
T.I.C., the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center has published their latest quarterly newsletter, featuring an article about the decrease in supply chain risk of tantalum of the past decade. T.I.C., as a partner in the EU H2020 RIA project TARANTULA, will...
Registration now open for EIT RawMaterials Symposium AWARE (November 8, 2019)
On November 8, 2019, the EIT RawMaterials AWARE consortium is organising a mini-symposium on raising awareness on recycling of electronic waste. The event is co-organised by Recupel, SUMA and SIM² KU Leuven. Registration is now open.
Register now for the satellite event on Public Acceptance at Raw Materials Week
Registrations are open for the satellite event at the EU Raw Materials Week on the “Public Acceptance and Social Impact of Mining and Mineral Recycling in Europe” (Brussels, 22 Nov. 2019). Several policy recommendations for the European Commission will be debated.
The secrets of the Social License to Operate (SLO)
The SecREEts project presented its approach on Social License to Operate during an online meeting and compared with the model by Boutilier and Thomson (2011)
State-of-the-art of direct & chemical recycling of tungsten
The International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA) has published a valuable 24-page Newsletter on the recycling of tungsten, distinguishing between direct and chemical recycling.
Suitable polar solvents enhance metal separations in liquid-liquid extraction
Within the SOLCRIMET project (ERC Advanced Grant), Zheng Li et al. discovered that selection of suitable polar solvents can enhance metal separations in liquid-liquid extraction. The work has been published in Chem. Eur. J.
On the degradation of choline chloride-carboxylic acid deep eutectic solvents
Within the SMART project, Nerea Rodriguez et al. have shown that Deep Eutectic Solvents based on carboxylic acids and choline chloride are not stable in time nor at high temperatures. The work was published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
JRC report on CRM recovery from mining waste & landfills
The EC’s Joint Research Centre has published a milestone report on the recovery of cricial raw materials (CRMs) from mining waste and landfills. SIM² KU Leuven & EURELCO coordinator Peter Tom Jones discusses the key conclusions of the report.
Gearing Extractive Industries Towards Sustainable Development – webinar report
Antonio Pedro of the UN International Resource Panel presented several key challenges for ‘mineral resources governance in the 21st century’ during a short webinar. Feedback from the workshop ‘Ensuring the SLO concept is adaptive and resilient’ complemented the debate.
TARANTULA H2020 EU project kicks-off
TECNALIA the leader of the project, hosted this kick-off meeting at its facilities in San Sebastián (Spain), the past 4th and 5th of June. Main objectives of the meeting were to set the official start of the project, establish relations between all...
Ensuring the SLO concept is adaptive and resilient
“Ensuring that ‘Social License to Operate’ (SLO) is Adaptive and Resilient” was the topic of a recent workshop organized by EU MIREU (supported by NEMO, CROCODILE & TARANTULA). This article reflects upon the key lessons learned.
New video released on reprocessing of tailings (ETN SULTAN)
The ETN SULTAN team has just released its official (animated) video on the reprocessing of tailings. SULTAN Researcher Jillian Helser explains how the SULTAN target is to transform mining waste (tailings) into valuable products.
High level expert panel on SLO topic (Brussels: 6-6-2019)
High level expert panel workshop on Social License to Operate, followed by a SLO clustering event organised by the NEMO, CROCODILE and TARANTULA projects teams.
Green slag valorisation is now an industrial success story
On April 1-5, 2019, the Sixth International Slag Valorisation Symposium took place in Mechelen, Belgium. This Symposium aims at contributing towards near zero-waste processing and closing material loops in the metallurgical sector through creating applications for...
Are Chinese policies disrupting the REE supply chain?
Gone are the days of singe stream production, we now live in a world of supply chains. These supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and interwoven. The rare earth (REE) supply chain is notoriously contentious and convoluted, and has been subject to many...