The BIOMOre partners bring state-of-the-art scientific and technological competence and innovation to the project. Our experts come from seven European countries (Germany, Poland, France, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain), Canada and the Rep. of South Africa, and are at the forefront of innovation in raw materials supply while meeting or exceeding the EU’s strict environmental and safety standards.
The BIOMOre project consists of 1 Lead Coordinator, 8 Work Package Leaders and – at the moment – 21 Participants to support the work progress.
The Lead Coordinator’s position is occupied by KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., Poland.
KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., Poland
The BIOMOre approach offers a number of benefits compared to conventional mining techniques.
KGHM is a global mining company based in Poland, with more than half a century of experience in the industry. It is the second world’s largest silver and sixth largest mined copper producer, with a range of products that also includes rhenium, lead, gold, molybdenum, nickel and platinum group metals. KGHM has a broad portfolio of production, development and exploration projects, in Poland, Canada, Chile and the USA. In mid-2014, initial production of copper, molybdenum and gold ore by open pit methods was planned in its Sierra Gorda mine, located in Chile’s Antofagasta region.
Miro (Mineral Industry Research Organisation), England
The Mineral Industry Research Organization is a leading international collaborative research and technological development facilitator and provider of collaborative research project management services to the minerals and related industries. Key to MIRO’s project development and delivery is the business need, as defined by the industrial members - together with their involvement and commitment from inception to completion. MIRO aims to maximize the gearing of corporate spend (up to 10 times) through effective use of co-funding, work-in-kind and cash.
MIRO is committed to; delivering successful research and efficient knowledge transfer; providing value for money and assisting members in development of new technologies or applications identified in MIRO’s collaborative projects.
In addition, MIRO can provide a comprehensive package of services or individual components to progress individual member’s RTD and innovation strategy in order to maximize impact, ensure spend targets are met and minimize risk. This can include the identification and securing of co-funding and management of as much of this process as required; whilst ensuring confidentiality is maintained.
AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
AGH University of Science and Technology is one of the best and most renowned modern Polish universities. For many years it has been ranked in the top of the list of domestic institutions of higher education. The university, being a technical school, serves science and industry through educating students, the development of academic staff, as well as research and development.
The Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas is only such faculty in Poland. Its activities are focused on borehole mining, petroleum and gas engineering and scientific research, mainly of applied character. It offers education within full-time, part-time, PhD and postgraduate study programs. The Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas consists of three departments: Drilling and Geoengineering, Oil Engineering and Gas Engineering.
Our tasks within the Project are connected with rock sample measurements, dynamic flow simulation as well as drilling and stimulation expertise. We can contribute our experience and ideas from the oil and gas industry, which we believe will be valuable for the Project.
Bangor University, UK
Founded in 1884, Bangor University has a long tradition of excellence and exceeds expectations, both for academic standards and student experience. We have over 11,000 students and over 650 teaching staff based in 23 Academic Schools grouped into five Colleges. Bangor University is in the top 40 in the UK for research (excluding specialist institutions and single-submission universities). Our research has a major impact around the world. Over half of Bangor’s academic Schools have been ranked in the UK top 20 for quality of research.
BGR – Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Germany
The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) with about 700 employees is the central geoscientific authority providing advice to the German Federal Government in all geo-relevant questions. About 40% of BGR activities are R&D-related. BGR is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). The BGR geomicrobiology unit belongs to the Department for Raw Materials and has specific expertise in the field of metal extraction using microorganisms (bioleaching/ biomining), quantitative microbial community analysis in mine tailings and the deep biosphere since 1973. Prof Axel Schippers heads a team additionally active in the fields of carbon capture / storage (CCS), and microbial degradation of mineral oil and gas hydrocarbons.
In BIOMOre, BGR will be involved in work task 1.5 to develop a strategy for eliminating mineral-degrading microorganisms introduced during active processing from the deep subsurface ore body once bioleaching has terminated.
In work task 1.3 BGR will examine the extent of anaerobic microbial elemental sulfur oxidation using ferric iron as electron acceptor in the on-site test reactor and in deep buried rock strata, where temperatures and pressures will be significantly higher. This is likely the most important sub-surface microbial process induced during indirect in situ ore bioleaching.
BRGM (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières), France
BRGM is France’s reference public institution for Earth Science applications in the management of surface and subsurface resources and risks.
Scientific research at the BRGM is focused on furthering geological knowledge and understanding surface and subsurface phenomena. The key issue at stake is to meet the challenges of global change.
The BRGM was created in 1959. It operates as a public industrial and commercial institution, reporting to the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research, the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and the Ministry for Economy, Industry and Digital Technology.
The BRGM's activities in this area cover all expert appraisals, monitoring and studies conducted to support public policy development.
With over 200 projects each year in 35 countries, BRGM works across the globe towards enduring protection for people and resources.
In 2006, the French State handed responsibility to BRGM for monitoring and action to prevent risks and pollution arising from mine closures. BRGM has state delegated responsibility for all mine safety engineering work.
The BRGM supports higher education training programmes in the geosciences and offers continuing professional training.
Cobre Las Cruces, S.A. (CLC), Spain
Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) is a subsidiary company of First Quantum Minerals and is located close to Seville city, Andalucia, Spain. CLC has developed a very efficient and innovative hydrometallurgical process to produce on-site 72,000 t/y copper cathodes (Grade A, LME) treating chalcocite ores through crushing, milling, atmospheric leaching, solvent extraction, and electrowinning. CLC consists of an integrated open pit mine and a hydrometallurgical plant aiming to maximize raw materials efficiency applying the advanced concept “Mine-to-Metal”.
CLC will contribute to BIOMOre Project as follows:
- Task 4.1. Select cost effective flowsheet: Project basis definition; Preliminary process design and flowsheeting; Gross cost estimate; Risk analysis for project R&D guidelines.
- Task 4.5. Technologies and techniques for water balance improvements, industrial removal of iron: State-of-the-art analysis; Process conceptual definition; Water purification techniques, iron and impurities removal; Water balance issues, optimisation and discharge minimisation; Design criteria to pilot scale and preliminary cost estimate.
- Task 7.2. Capex/Opex analysis and assessment of the entire metal leaching and recovery process: Design basis definition; State-of-the-art analysis; Process design and description; Conceptual engineering works; Opex and Capex estimate on copper processing to extrapolate data and information from EU mining operations to BIOMOre project.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
Founded in 1939, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) is a government-funded research organization under the administrative authority of France's Ministry of Research. CNRS research units are spread throughout France, and employ a large body of permanent researchers, engineers, technicians, and administrative staff. The CNRS annual budget represents one-quarter of French public spending on civilian research.
CNRS is organized in 1 025 laboratories, either intramural or in partnership with universities, other research organizations or industry. As one of the largest fundamental research organization in Europe, CNRS is involved in all scientific fields and is largely involved in national, European, and international projects. Interdisciplinary programs and actions offer a gateway into new domains of scientific investigation and enable CNRS to address the needs of society and industry.
CNRS has a long experience in the management of European projects. With a large place for collective guidance as part of the management inside the consortium; the organisation will provide a strong administrative support to such projects, with dedicated staff on financial, legal, and administrative issues.
In the BIOMORE Project, CNRS represents the following Joint Research Units:
-GEORESSOURCES- (UMR 7359 ), Directed by M.PIRONON managed by CNRS Regional Office Centre-Est DR6.
The Joint research unit UMR7359 is a joint laboratory between the CNRS and University Of Lorraine to welcome its faculty members. UMR7359 is Joint Research Unit for which CNRS will represent the University Of Lorraine via the special clause 7 (Third Party) in the Grant Agreement.
DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
With currently 30 offices around the world, DMT is a global corporate group of 14 engineering and consulting firms, providing interdisciplinary services in the four markets Mining, Oil & Gas, Civil Engineering & Infrastructure and Plant Engineering.
Earth. Insight. Values. This “trilogy” best sums up the DMT group and its philosophy. Earth represents the responsible manner in which we handle our resources and the continual protection and development of our living space, Insight stands for our way of thinking and doing business and Values for the benefit to our customers and the ethics at the heart of DMT. We pride ourselves not only on bringing together knowledge and principles, but also people and markets – and above all profound services and practical, sustainable and economic solutions.
DMT’s roots extend back as far as 1737, when the first organisation for mining safety was founded in Germany. Nowadays, as a division of TÜV NORD GROUP, our aim is the further development of our long-standing technical and scientific experience and continual quality enhancement.
Our wide-ranging service portfolio covers the fields of Exploration, Engineering, Consulting and Geotechnics, in which we apply professional know-how and innovative strength to create tailor-made solutions for the long-term benefit of our customers. Our product line includes diverse measuring systems as well as specially developed test products for a variety of industries, all developed and built by our in-house experts. To ensure that the standard of our products and services always meets the high expectations of DMT and our customers, we maintain a quality management system in line with the requirements of EN ISO 9001:2008.
G.E.O.S. Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Germany
G.E.O.S. is an independent German consulting and planning company with more than 25 years professional expertise and experience in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. One of the major business fields is resources and mining. G.E.O.S provides all kind of services for the mining industry, from prospecting and exploration, planning new mining operations, engineering and consulting services for mine operators to mine closure planning and mine remediation. Moreover, G.E.O.S. has a broad experience in static and dynamic modeling and engineering with special focus on the development of overall systems models as well as adapted process models. Beside of this, G.E.O.S. provides complete solutions for processing and treatment technologies. As partner in various national and international R&D projects G.E.O.S. has developed new technologies and products for the mining industry.
As partner and WP-leader in the BIOMOre project G.E.O.S. is responsible for the linkage and integration of modelling results of the partners in an overall system model for scale-up purposes. Additionally, G.E.O.S. provides geological models in 3D and 4D based on geological and geophysical datasets. Furthermore, G.E.O.S. focuses on process- and chemical engineering related to carbonate leaching, lab tests, hydrometallurgy aspects, iron recovery and utilization.
In addition to modeling and process engineering tasks, G.E.O.S. supports BIOMOre with its broad experience and special focus on risk assessment. Especially the coupling of models in an overall system model is used to assess and estimate risks within the BIOMOre project.
Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Finland
Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) is European centre of excellence and internationally oriented geoscience research agency operating under the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. GTK plays an active role in the mineral policy in Finland and the EU. The geological earth resources of strategic and economic importance are in the core of GTK's research mission and GTK has skills and knowledge in the area of environmental impacts of mining, mine closure, geology, mineralogy and mineral processing needed for the implementation of the project objectives.
GTK contributes to a wide range of international geosciences, mapping, mineral resources and environmental monitoring projects as well as projects, which are concerned eco-efficient mining and mineral processing. For example GTK’s Mineral Processing Laboratory (GTK Mintec), the certified mineral processing laboratory, offers the mining industry and equipment suppliers comprehensive and customized research capabilities ranging from mineralogical studies through bench-scale tests to continuous pilot campaigns. International references of GTK cover a wide spectrum of undertakings in over 40 countries of all continents. The total staff of GTK is ca. 550, annual revenue being about 50 million €.
G.U.B. Ingenieur AG
The G.U.B. Ingenieur AG is an independent consultancy with more than 25 years of experience. It counts 10 offices located in different German regions. With our 180 engineers, scientists and technicians we are active throughout Germany and worldwide. The core competencies of G.U.B. are Geosciences (i.e. Geo), Environment (i.e. Umwelt) and Construction (i.e. Bau).
Our expertise is distributed over seven business segments that complement each other thematically and structurally. Planning services for the fields of Water Resource Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Infrastructure overlap in numerous aspects and also correspond to the fields of Geotechnics and Brownfield Investigations. The two fields of Mining and Geotechnics form part of joint projects. These competences are further supported by the field of Environmental and Spatial Planning that are essential components in each project phase.
The diversity of our business areas requires a constant interdisciplinary collaboration of engineers, scientists and experts within the company and beyond. In addition to the daily cooperation in the framework of our projects, G.U.B. also develops research projects and applied industry research. Our Research and Development department provides the company with an effective instrument for the coordination and implementation of our research activities.
GUB contribution to BIOMOre:
As a partner of the BIOMOre project consortium, G.U.B. is involved in work packages 6 and 7. Within WP 6, G.U.B. contributes to the project outreach via strategy development, need assessment and capacity building through promotion, media tools and workshops. Within WP 7, G.U.B. covers the economic and risk evaluation of in-situ recovery investment projects as well as the identification of potential deposits for the potential project application within phase II.
Hatch is an employee-owned, multidisciplinary professional services firm that delivers a comprehensive array of technical and strategic services, including consulting, information technology, engineering, process development, and project and construction management to the Mining, Metallurgical, Energy, and Infrastructure sectors. Hatch has served clients for over six decades with corporate roots extending over 100 years and has project experience in more than 150 countries around the world.
Clients recognize Hatch for its ability to bridge the gaps between research and innovative technologies, and between engineering and reliable operations. We are particularly known for working with senior client management to develop business strategies; managing and optimizing production; executing projects that involve the scale-up of process technologies; and managing startups, commissioning and ramp-ups.
Hatch delivers unprecedented business results for our clients through a commitment to quality, lower operating costs, more efficient utilization of capital assets, higher standards for safety and risk management, faster startups and continuous performance improvements in all projects and programs.
Institute for Resource Ecology (HZDR), Germany
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) conducts research in the sectors energy, health, and matter. It has been a member of the Helmholtz Association – Germany’s largest research organization – since 2011. Several large-scale research facilities provide unique opportunities to internal and external users. The HZDR employs about 1,100 people – approximately 500 of whom are scientists, including 150 doctoral candidates. In addition to its headquarters in Dresden, the HZDR has research sites in Leipzig, Freiberg, and Grenoble.
In Leipzig the HZDR offers the opportunity to visualize transport processes via Geo positron emission tomography (GeoPET). This method enables scientists to observe liquid flows within sample materials. Thus, within the BIOMore project the HZDR conducts – together with its partners from the international consortium – basic fluid transport experiments at the laboratory scale and respective reactive transport modelling tasks with particular focus on copper mobilization and transport processes in carbonaceous shale and sandstone. Based on this data the HZDR researchers will infer parameters for computer simulations.
Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (IMN), Poland
Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (IMN) is a leading scientific centre of the Polish non-ferrous industry. The IMN complex activities cover all stages of metallic materials production: from ore treatment to technologies for production of modern products meeting all environmental standards. Many of the developed solutions have been implemented by small and medium enterprises, not only in the non-ferrous industry but also in other branches. The IMN is equipped with modern testing and measurement instruments and has laboratories for carrying out studies into leaching processes, phase separation, treatment of solutions, enrichment processes, synthesis and chemical analysis.
The main IMN contribution within the scope of BIOMORE project is treatment of the solution obtained in the previous stages of the project, i.e. bioleaching processes, in order to recover valuable metals. IMN is involved in preparation of leachate solutions from the particular ore samples, determination of relations between leaching conditions, raw material composition and composition of the solution. IMN also carries out studies into development of techniques and parameters for sequential precipitation of metals, development of a method for combined scorodite and jarosite iron removal from leachates, arsenic removal, recovery of rhenium from the leachates and evaluation of potential for recovery of other by-product metals (including magnesium).
IMN is involved in the process of selection of the most suitable technologies or combinations of technologies for metal value recovery and for marketable product generation.
Kemakta Konsult AB, Sweden
Kemakta Konsult AB is a Swedish independent personnel-owned consultancy specialising in environmental risk assessment primarily applied to the management of radioactive and chemical waste and to the management of contaminated land.
Kemakta has been performing environmental risk analyses including analyses of the dispersion of contaminants in ground, air and water since 1975. Originally, the work was directed towards the dispersion of radioactive substances from repositories for nuclear waste. The knowledge of environmental chemistry, hydrology and physical processes that Kemakta acquired during these studies has since the second half of the 1980-s been applied to a wide range of environmental impact assessments, e.g. for mine tailings deposits, coal ash, industrial wastes, contaminated land, contaminated sediments, new industrial establishments. Kemakta currently employs a staff of 19 chemical engineers, environmental engineers, biologists, hydrogeologists and physicists, all with an academic degree (MSc or Dr.). Kemakta is an SME.
KGHM CUPRUM Research and Development Centre, Poland
KGHM CUPRUM as an R&D Centre was established in 1967 to provide a comprehensive research and design service for KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. The company developed many solutions concerning mining technologies used in KGHM ensuring continuous development of best available techniques. CUPRUM supports KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. in its international projects (in Canada, the USA and Chile) aimed at resource base development.
The core activities of the company are research and development works for extractive industry including:
- mining and geo-engineering, (designing, sinking and freezing mine shafts, innovative mining technologies – mining systems for underground mines, automation of underground works and transport, modern rock winning technologies, analysis of hazards in underground mining),
- prospecting and exploration of ore deposits, exploitation of the copper ore deposits; building and development of mines;
- optimization of processing technologies, research and elaboration of methods for improvement of operating indexes of concentrators;
- environmental protection problems, technologies for waste utilization and usage, revitalization of post-mining areas;
- mining heritage protection;
- improvement of safety and work conditions in mines, surveying.
CUPRUM’s activities comprise all phases of the research & development activities from testing to design, environmental impact study, feasibility study and supervision of the implementation stage.
Mintek, South Africa
Mintek is South Africa’s national mineral research organisation and is one of the world’s leading technology organisations specialising in mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related areas. Mintek works closely with industry and other R&D institutions and provides service test work, process development and optimisation, consulting and innovative products to clients worldwide. Mintek’s commitment to innovation and its world-class research and development expertise is supported by a physical infrastructure of modern laboratories, pilot plants and workshops, and an extensive intellectual capital comprising engineers, scientists and technologists of the highest calibre.
Mintek is a state-owned science council which reports to the South African Minister of Mineral Resources. Mintek’s mandate is to serve the national interest through research, development and technology transfer, to promote mineral technology and to foster the establishment and expansion of industries in the field of minerals and products derived therefrom. The technical programmes at Mintek are aimed at generating high economic returns for the national and regional economies, while social programmes focus on skills development and educational initiatives. An important target is the nurturing of self-sustaining local economies in areas of South Africa where smaller minerals extraction and beneficiation enterprises have the capability to generate broad-based employment and wealth.
Mintek offers a complete range of process development services, from preliminary bench-scale investigations to large-scale piloting and integrated flowsheet development in support of bankable feasibility studies. Engineering design, plant construction and commissioning are carried out in conjunction with international partners. Comprehensive laboratory and piloting facilities for sample preparation, milling, flotation, physical separation, smelting, leaching, pressure leaching, and metal recovery and purification are supported by internationally-accredited analytical laboratory and mineralogical services.
Mintek’s activities include:
- providing essential services (information, consulting and experimental);
- increasing the competitiveness of industry by developing appropriate technology to cut costs and improve recoveries;
- developing “breakthrough” process technologies and novel uses for metals and their products;
- marketing its commercial products and technologies to industry;
- establishing strategic partnerships and joint ventures;
- participating in regional development initiatives and Southern African Development Community activities and projects;
- maintaining and expanding international scientific links; and,
- developing the human resources potential of the region through educational and training activities.
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany
Being a University of Resources, the TU Bergakademie - focuses comprehensively on securing the supply of natural resources along the entire added value chain. It covers the spectrum from the exploration for new deposits, the low impact, environmentally sound extraction of the raw materials as well as the development of alternative energy technologies and efficient materials right up to the recycling process. The basic idea of sustainable development remains at the forefront at all times. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg thus provides society with the basis for an environmentally compatible supply of resources which are essential for universal economic growth.
Researchers in Freiberg use cooperative relationships with industry representatives on the regional and national level as well as with international businesses to carry out fundamental research activities that have practical relevance. For years, the professors of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg have ranked among the absolute elite in Germany in terms of third party funds.
Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland
Tampere University of Technology (TUT), established in 1965, has operated in the form of a foundation since 2010. TUT has approximately 10,000 under- and post-graduate students, incl. 1400 international students, and over 160 professors. With a total annual income of 167 M€, TUT is a research intensive university, pioneer in technology transfer and an acknowledged cooperation partner among the scientific community and business life.
The research and teaching areas of the Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering (responsible for BIOMOre research activities within TUT) are chemistry, bioengineering, environmental engineering, and power plant and combustion technology. The common focus of the department is to develop sustainable concepts and processes for resource recovery, renewable energy production and production of high value bioproducts. This research is driven by the global scarcity of critical natural resources including energy, minerals, nutrients and water.
The role of TUT in BIOMOre project is to develop and optimize ferric iron generating biofilm reactors (Task 1-1) and to study the impacts of physico-chemical parameters (pressure, temperature) on the activity of bioleaching microorganisms (Task 1-4). The aim is to enable high-rate and high-efficiency ferric iron generation. The BIOMOre research group at TUT includes Prof. Jaakko Puhakka (principal investigator), Prof. Piet Lens, Postdoctoral Researcher Aino-Maija Lakaniemi and Doctoral Student Sarita Ahoranta.
Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH Dresden (UIT), Germany
Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH Dresden (UIT), Germany, is specialized in
- Environmental Monitoring (including active mining and remediation applications),
- Water Technology (mining/industrial water treatment, in-situ technologies), and
- Mineral Resources (exploration and extractive metallurgy/mineral processing, particularly experienced in in-situ recovery of technology metals).
Main activities include consulting, full-scale engineering, manufacture and practical implementation of technical facilities/systems, and turn-key plant construction in the above business areas. UIT operates two technical centres for lab and pilot scale testing: (i) water technology and (ii) hydrometallurgy. Complementarily, UIT develops and actively applies dedicated software tools (partly commercial ones) for computer simulations in (3D) hydrology, geochemistry/reactive-transport, chemical processing, etc. – mainly regarding mining and environmental/remediation applications. Most important, UIT is actively involved in industrial in-situ mining operations covering exploration and prospect development, planning (hydrology/leaching chemistry), engineering (recovery and processing), post-mining remediation, and management.
Based on these competences and practical experience in in-situ mining, UIT is engaged in the following work packages of the BIOMOre project:
- WP2: Modelling (focused on reactive transport and kinetics of in-situ leaching),
- WP3: On-site bioleaching (in particular, design and implementation of a monitoring system),
- WP7 (role of work package management): Prefeasibility study, economic assessment, and pilot preparation
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland
VTT is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. VTT has a national mandate in Finland. We use our research and knowledge to provide expert services for our domestic and international customers and partners. We serve both private and public sectors.
We have 73 years’ experience supporting our clients’ growth with top-level research and science-based results.
We develop new smart technologies, profitable solutions and innovation services. We cooperate with our customers to produce technology for business and build success and well-being for the benefit of society.
We use 4,000,000 hours of brainpower a year to develop new technological solutions. The benefit you gain from this spearhead research comes when we work with you to create new products, production processes, methods, and services. VTT ensures efficient utilisation of science and technology with the aid of broad international cooperation and networking.