Knowledge repository

Your open access to knowledge on how to change the extractive sector towards sustainability. Navigate through the industry- and policy practices, training materials, reports, and much more.

Extractives' role in closing cycles

SUMEX repository | 30 Results

Regional innovation scheme for zero waste extraction of critical raw materials

This practice addresses mining tailings and metallurgical heaps in RIS regions and accross Europe. The extraction in these regions presents a valuable resource for the secondary raw material market in Europe but also presents a substantial risk to the environment.

Reductive Bioprocessing to Recover Cobalt and Nickel From Laterites in Brazil

This project addresses the recovery of metals and will develop an environmentally friendly and energy-saving bio hydrometallurgical process. It will compile both efficient metal recovery techniques and bioleaching to lower the environmental impact and cost-effectiveness. This is an important approach as Cobalt is a critical raw material in the EU and is crucial for the green transition.

Zero waste recovery of copper tailings in the ESEE region

Although mining and processing tailings can present a substantial risk to the environment, on the other hand they represent valuable sources of secondary and in particular critical raw materials. Serbia and FYR Macedonia have an abundance of Cu mines which have been exploited since ancient times. These activities generated about 920 M tonnes of different types of mining, floatation and metallurgical tailings, containing approximately 1.3 M tonnes of Cu, 128 tonnes of Ag and 23 tonnes of Au, which could be a valuable resource for the European raw materials market sector. This practice addresses the usage of generated mining waste from past mining activities. The project aims to establish a network of Cu-value chain stakeholders to establish and promote innovative services for the zero waste extraction of metals.

Mining principles for sustainable demand

This practice addresses mining principles for a sustainable demand for metals and minerals over the coming decades. The ICMM launched a global public consultation regarding sustainable development to set a standard of ethical performance for ICMM members. The indicators include performance expectations on how to manage a broad range of sustainability issues at the the corporate and operational levels.

Electric vehicles – Rechargeable batteries and electric traction motors

Rechargeable batteries and electric traction motors are affecting the future demand of critical raw materials. Li-ion batteries will not satisfy the needs for the increasing demand for higher energy density and power density batteries. Therefore, solid-state batteries with solid electrolytes are considered to be an emerging technology due to improving safety and high power density and energy. Electric traction motors are the other key component of EVs. Many EVs employ rare earth permanent magnet to achieve high performance. NdFeB based permanent magnet is the most commercially important permanent magnet.

Extracting rare earths from phosphogypsum

This practice is addressing the environmental issues which occur during the extraction of rare earth elements. This practice aims to extract rare earth elements by using residues from phosphate fertilizer production to establish the industrial extraction of rare earth elements from secondary raw materials.

Recycling of end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles

The practice is addressing the increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries. The manufacturing of these batteries requires raw materials which face supply risks. The focus of this practice lies on the recycling of of the lithium-ion batteries at the end of their life cycle to recover raw materials.

A roadmap towards monitoring the physical economy

MinFuture roadmap provides recommendations for monitoring of the physical economy, which is considered to be crucial for improving our capacity for forecasting and scenario development in the fields of, for example, climate change and progress towards circular economy. Moving towards monitoring systems at company, national, regional, EU and global levels is important for achieving the sustainable development goals and securing long-term supply of raw materials.

Ensuring the primary supply of EU raw materials by 2050

The need to increase the supply and strengthen the competitiveness of the European mineral and metal sector.

Resource-efficient, advanced processing of raw materials

Being able to satisfy increasingly more demanding consumers requires a transition to agile manufacturing technologies and mass-customisation. This in turn requires more flexible, on-demand production and assembly processes. At the same time, automated processes and big data solutions, such as inline sensors, will help control and adjust material flows and steer processes towards a new phase of customisation, market driven production that is not only focusing on increased productivity and efficiency, but also on agility and responsiveness.

Minimisation and valorisation of residues

Mineral waste is usually produced as by-product during the processing, refining and converting of raw materials. There is great potential to reduce waste or increase the value of current low-value-side- and waste streams or by-products. Plus, waste management in the context of mine closures will become a major challenge.

Wheal Jane Earth Science Park: post-mining business regeneration

Wheal Jane Earth Science Park is a good practice example of a successful remediation project where a former mine site was transformed into a science cluster for mining and renewable energy-related businesses.

Systematic thematic development of mining, metallurgy & raw materials conditions in the region

The Arctic Industry and Circular Economy cluster cooperation model was established to connect experts and stakeholders in Lapland, Finland in the field of extractives industries. The practice helps industry and regional authorities to share knowledge and skills and to create a strong network that can engage in dialogues concerning policy making processes. The practice can be seen as a response to the lack of coherent network and collaboration among stakeholders with expertise in sustainable use of natural resources.

A practical guide to consistent water reporting

This practice addresses consistent water reporting due to its standard as fundamentally critical resource in industries, communities and for the natural environment. In particular in water stressed areas, water depended industries are facing increasingly intense scrutiny. One of the affected industries is the mining and metals industry considering its high water dependency.

Arctic Industry and Circular Economy cluster

Resource efficiency and sustainable extraction of minerals are important goals for both Finland and the European Union. Arctic Industry and Circular Economy cluster aims to develop regional knowhow on sustainable industry and circular economy activities in Lapland, Finland. The cluster is a part of the wider ARCTIC Smartness concept, which connects actors with common goals in order to develop regional cooperation.

Recycled water by Tailing Thickening

The practice is addressing the process of tailing thickening to enhance the reusage of water at the process plant. If this practice is not used, the water consumption of the power plant causes high costs, water scarcity for the surrounding areas and water loss from evaporation. By implementing a tailing thickening stage at the power plant and reusing water such problems could be immensely decreased. Drakelands Mine was mentioned as an example.

Waste Management by Dry Stacking

This waste management strategy is used to store filtered tailings which reduces the environmental footprint but brings additional operational and transportation costs.

A Tool for Assessing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management Performance

This practice addresses facility-level assessments for companies about their performance indicators for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This protocol should help to provide guidelines to companies in evaluating their performance of energy use and gashouse emissions by monitoring three performance indicators according to this assessment tool.

Minimising the impact on the aquatic life and morphology of the ecosystem through the recycling of the water usage during the process

Case study of CERF SAS on how a specific water management plan was created to purify the water used for extraction processes in a sand extraction site in Saint-Loup, France.

Circular resource use through secondary material recycling

This practice addresses the use of circular resource through secondary material recycling. Boliden's smelters work together to process a wide range of secondary raw materials sourced both internally and outside. Boliden is able to create value from these residual materials as a result of the increased circular resource use.

Reutilization of treated waste water

Cobre Las Cruces’ (CLC) owns a mining site where a part of the water supply needed for the mineral processing is covered with treated wastewater from the public water supply and treatment company.

Extracting zinc through steel mill dust recycling at Rönnskär

Using a fuming process, Boliden extracts zinc from steel mill dust to contribute to a circular economy. Rönnskär uses the process to produce zinc clinker that is virtually free from halogens; approximately 10-15 percent of the clinker produced comes from steel mill dust.

Landfilled sulphur residue set to be Kokkola’s next resource

It is estimated that Boliden's Kokkola zinc smelter in Finland produces approximately 820,000 tonnes of wet sulphur residue (330,000 dry tonnes), which are currently treated as waste but can be converted into valuable metals.

Kokkola jarosite research

This practice addresses the promising trials at the Boliden Kokkola zinc smelter in Finland to recover valuable metals from jarosite residue and convert it into clean slag with potential applications as a construction material.

Purification of manganese from anode sludge at Kokkola

This practice is looking into options to convert manganese-containing waste into useful products such as fertilizers, a steel industry additive or precursor material for lithium-ion batteries. The Boliden Kokkola zinc smelter produces 3.000-4.000 tonnes of anode sludge annually, and slightly less at the Boliden Odda zinc smelter. To date, all manganese-containing anode sludge at both sites has been disposed of in landfills.

Converting secondary materials from electronics into precious metals at Harjavalta

Through ongoing research and development, Boliden's Harjavalta smelter in Finland is working to maximize its recovering of precious metals from electronic scraps. Harjavalta Smelter, on the west coast of Finland, is an important and very efficient copper and nickel producer. Boliden's mines in Kylylahti and Kevitsa in Finland are among the sources of Harjavalta's concentrates, and electronic waste is added to the feed to recover precious metals in waste.

When both the environment and the economy win

This practice addresses adding value to waste while removing a source of environmental impact from a closed mine and purifying the water with a cutting-edge facility. The Holmtjärn Mine in Västerbotten, Sweden, was reclaimed in accordance with the standard at the time, but due to the environmental impact, Boliden decided to take new measures.

Contributing to a circular economy at Kokkola

Boliden has been serving society for decades by recirculating its excess heat and chemicals, in addition to recycling large amounts of metal. The Kokkola Industrial Park in western Finland is one of Europe's best examples of how industrial synergies developed since the 1960s contribute to a circular economy – initially based on meeting practical needs and lowering costs.

Scrap lead batteries recycled to new raw material

Every year, Boliden Bergsöe recycles lead scrap from the Nordic region, including four million waste batteries. A majority of the produced lead is sold to the battery industry in Europe. In the process of smelting and recycling, Bergsöe helps recycle a finite resource that is crucial to modern society but can be highly toxic if not handled properly.

Smart battery storage for a safer electricity supply

Sweden's industries have a common need for reliable electricity in their efforts to adapt to climate change. Boliden has allowed a smart battery storage facility to be installed at the Bergsöe smelter in order to contribute to securing the country's electricity supply.