This project brings together universities, research institute and leading industrial partners in the raw materials sector with a long track record in primary raw materials. Chances of creating impact with project results are maximized by bringing together these different types of partners with a range of specific areas of expertise.
The research group of prof. Jo Dewulf (Sustainable Systems Engineering) specialises in life cycle thinking and thermodynamics-based sustainability analysis, going from process level to overall industrial system level. The commonly used techniques are Exergy Analysis (EA), Exergetic Life Cycle Analysis (ELCA), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). Methodological improvements have been put into practice through collaborations with several industrial partners, e.g. Galloo, Umicore and others. Through prof. Dewulf’s involvement with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the group is also working on relevant topics like resource efficiency, resource criticality and circular economy.
CML, the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden) is an institute of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. The Department of Industrial Ecology is a major player in methods development for sustainability assessment, with a key role in LCA (Life Cycle Assessment); LCSA (Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis); MFA (Material Flow Ac-counting); dynamic SFA (Substance Flow Analysis); EE-IOA (Environmentally Extended Input-Output Analysis) and combinations of these methods and tools, like hybrid LCA. Among others, CML developed the method for calculating the Abiotic Depletion Potentials (ADPs).
Luleå University of Technology
LTU is a leading mining university in Europe. The university carries out research and education along the raw materials value chain and have centres of excellence in mining and metallurgy and also in mineral economics, societal research in relation to mining and exploration activities and have internationally acknowledged research groups in all these areas also including sustainability and LCA of direct relevance for this project. LTU traditionally work in close collaboration with industry in their research and education.
Boliden is a leading European mining and smelting company, primarily dealing with base and precious metals. The Boliden mining division have active mines in three European countries, Sweden, Finland and Ireland. The Boliden mining division is furthermore one of largest exploration companies in Europe. Boliden has in house expertise on exploration, mining, mineral processing, metallurgy, mineral economics, sustainability and environmental issues. Boliden is actively working with sustainable mining and minimising environmental impact of its operations.
Cobre las Cruces
Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) is the owner of Las Cruces mine and is a subsidiary company of First Quantum Minerals group. CLC is a mining company with the biggest open pit mine of copper in Europe and a hydrometallurgy plant for mineral beneficiation considered unique around the world. The CLC Hydrometallurgical Plant is very innovative and one of the most technologically advanced in the world for treating copper through the concept “Mine to Metal”. The use of optimized applied process technology maximizes the reutilization of water, energy and material resources. CLC uses a sustainable “Clean Technology”, avoiding the generation of acid gas typical from conventional copper smelters; liquid effluents are perfectly controlled to meet the most stringent regulations, and process tailings are disposed of in dry conditions, so as, tailings ponds are not needed. The main role that CLC can plays in SUPRIM project is providing information, knowledge and expertise about different ways of ore production and treatment.
Euromines (www.euromines.org) is the recognised representative of the European metals and minerals mining industry, long-standing supporter of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (http://etp-smr.eu) and associate member of ICMM (www.icmm.com). Euromines has made significant contributions the EU’s methods for assessing criticality of raw-materials, the EU Raw Materials Scoreboard and the EU Product Environment Footprint. It represents 42 different metals and minerals being extracted in Europe.
The Circular Economy Team at the Energy and Environment Division addresses the main challenges faced by the industry and society as a result of multiple environmental pressures linked to current human activities. The mission of Tecnalia is to contribute to the design of more sustainable futures through the enablement of a circular economy. In particular, they focus our activities in contributing to the development of innovative metrics and product design tools as support elements towards a transition to a circular economy. The main research focus deals with the monitoring and assessment of existing methods, the development of new indicators, and the implementation of state-of-the-art metrics for a comprehensive characterization of environmental burdens on various sectors. Tecnalia has extensive experience in the application of LCA-based tools. Additionally, they have also developed integrated sustainability assessment indicators at different territorial levels, including cities and regions, most of which have been developed together with other EU RTD partners in the framework of joint research initiatives funded under a number of EU programmes, including FP 6 and 7, H2020, ESPON and IN-TER.