The ION4RAW Project is dedicated to developing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly mineral processing technology to recover by-product metals from primary sources. The project proposes to use novel deep eutectic solvents (DES) to leach and jointly recover by-product metals alongside primary metals belonging to the Cu-Ag-Au deposits. Most of the targeted by-products elements are defined by the European commission as Critical Raw Materials, including Bismuth (Bi), Indium (In), and Antimony (Sb). The project is also working to ensure that it fits within a system capable of recovering major product metals, notably Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag) and Gold (Au). Other non-critical by-product metals may also be recovered, including Tellurium (Te).
Joint recovery of by-products
As the ION4RAW project has advanced the TRL of its iono-metallurgical technology, it has become more apparent which of the original thirteen metals considered at the onset of the project are most amenable to full-scale production using DES leaching and recovery. Therefore Cobalt, Germanium, Molybdenum, Platinum, Rhenium, and Selenium are no longer targeted by the project since their recovery rates were not significant. The ultimate commercial viability of the ION4RAW process will depend largely on technical performance metrics (e.g. rate of recovery, rate of purity) and economic factors (e.g. cost of materials, energy requirements, solubility time).
What our partners think
The whole prototype process will be tested and validated at our facilities in TECNALIA, using real primary samples provided by European & Peruvian mines.
ION4RAW is unlocking the full potential of EUROPE’s inner wealth by converting new and currently unexploited resources into reserves. We are glad to be coordinating such an innovative project.
We will compare ION4RAW environmental impact to the one of conventional by-product recovery routes to assess the sustainability of the process.