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YhteyshenkilöPatryk Wójtowicz
KuvausThe need for raw materials, especially Rare Earth Elements (REE), is increasing rapidly in EU and
globally. At the same time, the amount of mine waste is increasing drastically together with concerns
related to the environmental effects of mining. Mining industry can achieve more eco-efficient and
selective raw material production by enhancing the utilization of side streams and mine waste. This
development highlights the need to develop more efficient recovery methods and to efficiently remove
dissolved metals from mine water streams, while securing the surrounding environment and

The main objective of the project is to enhance the eco-efficient and sustainable use of natural
resources through creating a modular recovery process service package for hydrometallurgy and
water treatment. The project aims to demonstrate that the well tested GTKs modular pilot plant with
selective metal recovery processes and tested organic adsorbents, including CH-Collector (patented
method) and biochars, will work on larger scale in a hydrometallurgical plant. Also, the organic
adsorbents will be tested for efficient applications in semi-passive drainage water treatment and REE
and base metal recovery.

After this project, the water treatment pilot plant will be up-scaled and proved to work in larger scale
process and adsorbent testing at hydrometallurgical process sites, widening significantly the current
business opportunities. Organic adsorbents, e.g. CH-Collector and biochars will be proved to be
efficient in large scale hydrometallurgical processes and mine waste drainage treatment, becoming useful part of the side stream utilization and circular economy. The metal recovery processes at target
sites will be enhanced in critical raw materials recovery. The modular recovery process service
package including a mobile pilot plant combined with innovative SME technologies and eco-efficient
organic adsorbents will be a powerful tool in developing utilization and cleaning of mining side
KehittämistarveThe sustainable use of mineral resources, including side streams, should be enhanced. To make
testing, piloting and exploiting of the critical element resources easier, GTKs modular recovery
process services for hydrometallurgy and water treatment will be enhanced and validated. Service
enhancement will be achieved through updating the pilot plant, piloting at active mine site, and
piloting recovery services for environmental applications.
ToimenpiteetThe demand for raw materials, especially REEs and other critical elements, is increasing rapidly in
EU and globally. At the same time, the amount of mine waste is increasing drastically together with
concerns related to the environmental effects of mining. To address these challenges, eco-efficient
use of raw materials should be enhanced and the concept of circular economy promoted. A key
element would be to facilitate the detection of potential raw material sources and deployment of
suitable processing technologies at current process side streams and mine waste facilities. This could
be achieved through establishing a modular recovery process service package for hydrometallurgy
and water treatment.

Morecovery project contributes to the following overall impacts of the KIC:
- Improving industrial competitiveness by developing cost-effective piloting capacity for raw material
recovery in hydrometallurgical processes (e.g. bioleaching and mine waste waters). The up-scaled
modular pilot system could be used in target area/processes or side by the mineral processing tests
performed at GTK-MINTEC. Recyclable organic adsorbents, flash mixing and cross-flow filtering
technologies would become part of the modernization of mineral/hydrometallurgical processing.
- Innovation capacity will be enhanced by co-operation of multidisciplinary research and industrial
network (organic/inorganic chemistry, geology, geochemistry, process/mineral engineering,
hydrometallurgy), heavy analytical readiness (MLA- and NMR-analytics, onsite XRF analysers)
- Environmental and social sustainability would be increased by utilizing reusable bioadsorbents with
>10 regeneration loops. New adsorbents would have several benefits, including: waste residue could
be used as fertilizer, mine water could be offered as fresh water product to agriculture and
surrounding society, bioadsorbents are capable for removing hazardous metals from production
streams, development to solve one of the largest mine water challenges of EU in Spain.

The impacts of the Morecovery project will be achieved by strong and experienced project consortium
in processing and mine water issues. Morecovery will provide benefits also to non-consortium
partners and the KIC community:
- Innovative raw material recovery and water treatment services can be marketed on an international
scale, enhancing the global sustainable use of natural resources.
KumppanitGTK is a well-known provider of mineralogical and traditional processing services for the mining
industry worldwide. GTKs process mineralogy focus has made the research center a leader in
mineralogical analysis in the development of concentration methods. GTKs pilot water treatment
plant has been under development since 2012. The modular plant is designed to run longer term
tests at mine sites utilizing different possible technological combinations, based on which larger scale
water treatment processes and facilities can be designed. Besides water treatment, the pilot plant has
been noted to be suitable also for metal recovery, with some technological updates. So far, the pilot
plant has been tested in water treatment and base metal recovery. The pilot plant is co-owned by
GTK, Savonia and the University of Eastern Finland. Currently it consists of mixing and filtering
technologies from SMEs like Wetend and Sofi Filtration. To complement GTKs service capacity, a
concept of modular recovery process service package for hydrometallurgy and water treatment will be
created and the pilot plant up-scaled and validated for hydrometallurgical processes.

Organic adsorbents have been developed to be a significant eco-efficient and non-waste method of
recovering metals and anions from mine water streams. For example, a selective metal recovery
innovation (N10O) has been patented in the year 2009 (UEF) and brought for business in 2013
named as CH-Collector. The CH-Collector or N10O has been demonstrated to be able to remove
metals from liquid concentrate and to be re-usable for tens of times. Other potential adsorbent
materials investigated at the UEF include target modified biochars, which can be utilized alone or
together e.g. with CH-Collector to boost the recovery. These organic adsorbents have been tested in
laboratory scale and piloting has been done regarding water treatment and base metals recovery. In
this project, the adsorbents would be piloted in larger hydrometallurgical scale and in environmental
water treatment and recovery applications.
RahoittajaEIT RawMaterials