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.
Forrum Recycling and Waste Solutions AB were nominated as one of three finalists for the Swedish Mining Innovation Award in 2019, for a microbiological-based wastewater treatment process for lowering the sulphate and nitrate content of mine waste water. The concept is being tested at pilot scale at LKAB Svappavaara and consists of a prefiltration stage and a free floating biobed reactor.
Most mines face challenges meeting discharge limits on the allowable amount of sulphates and nitrates in the mine waste water. A summary of the wastewater treatment solution developed by Fortum is presented in a Youtube video. Mine waste water treatment is a focus of work package WP5 in the SEESIMA project.
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.
Breakdown of sulphur-containing minerals often results in the release of sulphate (such as with acid mine drainage). One way to combat the environmental problems that this causes is to use certain types of bacteria that reduce the sulphate back to sulphur or sulphide compounds.
Sulphate reduction and metal sulphide removal experiments are going on at the University of Oulu. Sulphate reducing bacteria are cultivated in bottle scale and tested for utilization of KemiCond treated sewage sludge and succinate. At the same time synthetic mining water is treated, and iron is recovered as FeS. Furthermore, tests with other low-cost carbon sources and real mining waters, as well as reactor experiments are planned to be started in the autumn 2019.
For more details, contact Hanna Virpiranta
Recently a new EU innovation project was launched, with funding from EIT Raw Materials and project partners from Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Ireland. The project is led by Dr Darina Štyriaková, of the Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnologies of the Technical University of Košice in Slovakia. The aim of the project is to develop biotechnologies to achieve ecological exploitation, improve the quality of local minerals and reduce the European countries’ dependence on imported minerals. More details about the project can be found here:
In February 2019 Dr. Tiina Leiviskä and MSc. Hanna Virpiranta visited Prof. David Barrie Johnson’s group Bangor Acidophile Research Team (BART) in Bangor University, Wales, UK. Hanna stayed there for two weeks working alongside with other visiting and post-doctoral researchers of the team. She acquired a lot of knowledge of e.g. operating sulfate-reducing bioreactors, plating of anaerobic microbes, and conducting bioleaching experiments, that she can exploit in her further research.
On the 14th February 2019, the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Fisheries approved the
operating permit for the copper mine at Reppafjord, Finnmark proposed by the Norwegian mining company Nussir. The announcement is only available in the Norwegian language on the government webpage, but details in English are provided by the High North News website.