Luleå Technical University is arranging a seminar on Exploration, Mining, Mineral Processing, Metallurgy and Environment. This arrangement is part of the Centre for Advanced Mining and Metallurgy (CAMM) which was established at LTU in 2010 as a strategic research area. More details about the CAMM² Centre can be found here.
The increasing focus on sustainability and environmental impact of mining activity is the basis for two Mineral Engineering conferences to be held in Falmouth, Cornwall in June 2020. These conferences, on biomining and sustainable minerals, have relevance to activities within the SEESIMA project, such as within WP4 and WP5.
The first is the Biomining ’20 conference, to be held 8-9 June 2020 in Falmouth. This is the 10th time that this conference has been arranged (after a name change from the earlier title of ‘Biohydrometallurgy’). The conference focuses on the development, optimisation and implementation of integrated biomining processing of mineral ores. This is an alternative processing route whereby the microbes are used to cause or catalyse the release of metals from the ore. This includes the microbiology of heap or tank leaching, bioflotation. This approach can be used on low grade or complex ores, or on novel resources such as mine and electronic waste, or the rehabilitation of environments damaged by mining. As such, biomining is a contributor to the sustainability of mining activity.
Biomining has achieved increased attention in recent years, and a flagship implementation is represented by the Terrafame mine in Finland. The following cartoon, taken from here) illustrates one of the main bacteria (Thiobacillus ferroxidans) used in releasing copper metal from copper ore.
The second conference is the Sustainable Minerals ’20 conference, to be held from 10-11 June 2020, also in Falmouth, Cornwall. This is being held for the 6th time, and focuses on sustainability aspects of mining. Modern society’s extensive use of metals and mineral-based materials creates a strain on sustainable use of natural resources. Hence, mining needs a focus on sustainability.
The topics of Sustainability ’20 include:
- Acid Mine drainage
- Wastewater treatment
- Energy recovery and reduction
- Industrial applications
- Processing of Industrial Wastes
- Recycling of post-consumer materials
- Development of geopolymers as cement alternatives.
The Eden Project – nearby in Cornwall
A further attraction in the Cornwall area is the possibility to visit the Eden Project, nearby. This was formerly an open pit mine, extracting china clay. After the mine was closed it was transformed into one of the largest tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. The two pictures below show the ‘before’ and ‘after’ views of the site. This is a great answer as to what to do with the hole in the ground after mining has finished. A different approach to sustainability and biomining!.
At the conclusion of the SEESIMA meetings in Apatity a visit was made to the JSC Apatit Museum in Kirovsk. This has impressively modern and comprehensive displays and education resources relating to the history of the region and the technologies for extraction of minerals from the local resources, in particular the operations of the JSC PhosAgro Apatit.
The Museum has a webpage which shows some of the content of the museum. The website also provides the possibility for taking a virtual tour of the museum.
- Hall 1: History of the PhosAgro group
- Hall 2: History of the JSC “Apatit” mine and processing
- Hall 3: Display of gifts received by the enterprise
- Hall 4: Details of the Khibiny Massif mineralogy
- Hall 5: Mineral resources of the Kola Peninsula
- Hall 6: Underground Mining
- Hall 7: Open-pit Mining
- Hall 8: Enrichment Department
- Exhibition hall: “Everyday life and customs of the Russian Empire”
- Clock tower: Display representing the different features of layers between the earth’s core and atmosphere.
At the time of our visit there were groups of school children and university students using the museum. It is a very useful resource for dissemination of information about the mining industry, and for highlighting for young persons the opportunities represented by the industry.
A conference on Tailings and Mine Waste was held from 17-20 November 2019 in Vancouver. The conference home page is here, which includes the list of presentations.
Presentations of particular interest for the SEESIMA project included:
- The effect of arctic conditions on the geochemical behaviour of sulfidic tailings (Gary Schudel) – article available here
- A new technique for measuring the reactivity of sulfidic ores and waste – infrared thermography (Marjan Knobloch)
- Environmental assessment of residues from field multi-step passive treatment of Fe-AMD: Case study of the Lorraine mine site, QC, Canada (Marouen Joini).
- Valorisation of phosphate mine wastes: the challenge of additional resource recovery from phosphate rock (Bernd G Lottermoser)
- Using Algae as cheap and efficient flocculation agent to quickly obtain clear water columns at pit lakes (Miguel de Lucas Parlo)
Otherwise, there were many presentations focusing on the physical and regulatory aspects of tailings dams.
A seminar/workshop is to be held at Kjeøy Research and Education Centre in Vestbygd in Northern Norway. This will involve introductory presentations by specialists in the field of metal leaching from minerals, as well as time for discussion of both microbial and chemical leaching processes. Environmental aspects of natural leaching in cold climates will also be covered. Further details about the seminar, and registration information is available here.
On the 5-6 February 2019 Luleå Technical University hosted the Conference in Minerals Engineering.
The formal kick-off meeting was held in Oulu on the 22-23 November 2018, with a nominal project start date of 15 Oct 2018.
On the first (half) day the project administration was gone through with the Kolarctic Management Authority representatives.
On the second day the project workplan was discussed in detail to prepare a operational plan.