Mineral Processing Technology

New scientific article published on Hydrometallurgy

As part of the ION4RAW project, a new scientific article on hydrometallurgy was recently published and focuses on a particle-based approach to predict the success and selectivity of leaching processes using ethaline. Discover this Comparison of simulated and experimental results.

Encouraged by the need for ecologically and economically sustainable technologies for the recovery of metals from complex raw materials, ionometallurgical leaching using deep eutectic solvents is emerging as a promising alternative to conventional hydro- and pyrometallurgical process routes. Current approaches of studying leaching processes do not provide a mineral-based understanding of the leaching process – thus limiting the opportunities for process optimization.

This study addresses this shortcoming by combining laboratory-based X- ray computed tomography (CT) and scanning electron microscopy-based image analysis. The latter method provides precise information on the mineralogy and texture of the leach feed material, whereas CT is used to observe the progress of the leaching process through time. Leaching of Au–Ag bearing sulfide flotation concentrate by the deep eutectic solvent ethaline with iodine as oxidizing agent is used as a relevant case study. Results show that time-lapse CT provides an accurate estimation of the dissolution rate of pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, telluride minerals and gold.

Dissolution rates were used to simulate the metal recoveries from the sulfide concentrate as a function of leaching time. Simulation results are within 5% variation of metal recoveries obtained by batch leaching experiments. The developed workflow can be easily transferred to other ore types or mineral concentrates; results may be used to study and optimize industrial leaching processes.

Discover the full article here and many more here.

Many thanks to the authors of this article: Chandra Widyananda Winardhia, Jose Ricardo da Assuncao Godinhoa, Cindytami Rachmawatia and Jens Gutzmer from Helmholtz Zentrum-Dresden Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Isabelle Duhamel Achinb from the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), Ainhoa Unzurrunzaga Iturbec  from Fundacion Tecnalia Research and Innovation, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, and Gero Frischd from the Institut für Anorganische Chemie, Technische Universit ̈at Bergakademie Freiber.

By Products Critical Raw Materials Mineral Processing Technology

A look back on our Clustering event

Let’s look back on our clustering event. Organized on 11 May 2022, along with PEACOCCROCODILE and TARANTULA, the event focused its discussion on The use of ionic liquids (IL) and Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) for metal recovery. Challenges and opportunities in research and development for the recycling and recovery of metals considered critical using ionic liquids (IL) and deep eutectic solvents (DES) were thoroughly discussed.

The recycling of critical raw materials has become an important argument for the European Commission in the fight against resource vulnerability. Securing an alternative to mining such critical materials is thus necessary, which we discussed with our partners of PEACOC, CROCODILE and TARANTULA

“IL and DES can replace the usually toxic and flammable organic solvents, reduce chemical waste and improve the safety of chemical processes and products [1]. Moreover, they may offer potential as an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional separation processes – involving the use of aqueous acids or organic solvents- in particular due to their characteristics: low volatility, high thermal stability, low vapor pressure […]”

Discover the full discussion here: PEACOC – How is Research and Development supporting Europe’s leadership in metal recovery?

Watch the recording of the workshop here:

Several researchers from each project discussed solutions and innovative ways to recycle such materials. You can discover their presentations here:


The ION4RAW, CROCODILE, TARANTULA, and PEACOC projects have received funding from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 815748 (ION4RAW – ion4raw.eu), GA No 776473  (CROCODILE – h2020-crocodile.eu), GA No 821159 (TARANTULA – h2020-tarantula.eu), GA No 958302 (PEACOC –peacoc-h2020.eu).

Sustainable Ionometallurgy

ION4RAW Online Clustering Workshop on The use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids for metal recovery

Join the online clustering workshop on ‘’The use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids for metal recovery’’, organized by 4 H2020 projects in the circular economy (ION4RAW, CROCODILE, TARANTULA, PEACOC)!

Our clustering workshop scheduled for May 11th, 2022 is coming soon!

On May 11th, 2022, ION4RAW together with CROCODILE, TARANTULA, PEACOC will organize a clustering event titled:  ‘’The use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids for metal recovery’’. The event brings together top research organizations as well as industrial partners to present the project results and the latest technological innovations using Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids for metal recovery.

Register here!


About the event

The aim of the clustering event on Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids for separation and recovery of metals is to share and discuss the latest R&D results as well as challenges and opportunities at industrial level for the separation and recovery of metals.

Ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents are exciting classes of solvents that possess unique properties. Ionic liquids are known for their negligible vapor pressure, wide liquid range, tunable solvating power, and high thermal stability. DES are a new type of green solvents and most of them are even biodegradable. Ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents can replace the usually toxic and flammable organic solvents, reduce chemical waste and improve the safety of chemical processes and products[1]. Moreover, they may offer potential as an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional separation processes involving the use of aqueous acids or organic solvents. Due to these special properties, they have found a wide range of applications in fields, including hydrometallurgy. Ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents can provide novel intensified separation and purification technologies that enable major contributions towards establishing the sustainable processes required for the future process industry.


The clustering event will take place online on May 11th, 2022 from 9.00 to 12.15h CET. More than 7 speakers from top research and technology organizations and business will take part in the event. The workshop program is broken down into three sessions:

  • The use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids in the context of EU-funded R&D projects (ION4RAW, PEACOC, TARANTULA, CROCODILE)
  • The use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids at industrial level
  • Panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the use of Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids


If you are interested in the topics of recycling, metals and innovation, this event is just for you. Reserve your online ticket here!


The ION4RAW, CROCODILE, TARANTULA, and PEACOC projects have received funding from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 815748 (ION4RAW – ion4raw.eu), GA No 776473  (CROCODILE – h2020-crocodile.eu), GA No 821159 (TARANTULA – h2020-tarantula.eu), GA No 958302 (PEACOC –peacoc-h2020.eu).


[1] Freemantle, M. (2010). An introduction to ionic liquids. Royal Society of chemistry.

Mineral Processing Technology

ION4RAW at the 2021 SIM exhibition

ION4RAW was present during the 70th edition of the annual Congress-Exposition of the Mineral Industry Society (SIM) in Lille (North of France).

The event, which took place from the 19th to the 22nd of October 2021, gathered 340 professional exhibitors as well as over 400 visitors. It brought together miners, extractive industry operators, stakeholders, R&D researchers and civil society (journalists and NGO’s). For ION4RAW partners, it was a great chance to present the project as well as to learn from other innovative initiatives.

Indeed, on the 21ST of October, the French’s Public Institution for Earth Science applications, the Geological Survey (Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières – BRGM) presented a technical conference on the mineral industry. Hosted by its Regional Director Isabelle Duhamel-Achin, it discussed challenges around critical raw materials (CMRs) in France and Europe, as well as the resilience of the mineral industry after the pandemic. For three days, the BRGM also held an exposition booth. Finally, an abstract of Mines & Carrières’ Special Issue has been presented. For more information and detail about the Congress and its topics, head over to the SIM website and have a look at the official SIM 2021 video here



Critical Raw Materials

The ION4RAW second newsletter is out!

We are delighted to announce that we have recently published our second newsletter. The newsletter is published annualy and highlights the latest news and developments in the ION4RAW project. It includes relevant meetings, publications and also information about the current work of each work package and how you might be able to get involved.

If you would like to receive our newsletter direct to your inbox,


Raw Materials

Discover the ION4RAW targeted elements and what they are used for

During Spring 2021, ION4RAW conducted a social media campaign to put the spotlight on the elements targeted in the project. A specific focus on their role in our everyday life and in a wide range of industries, from aerospace to energy production, semiconductors production, jewellery, or even healthcare.

Find out more about the use of these elements and their key role for the achievement of the European Green Deal and of a transition to a sustainable future.







Raw Materials

ION4RAW attended the ROBOMINERS clustering workshop on the 4th of June

ION4RAW was present in the ROBOMINERS clustering workshop on the 4th of June together with AlSiCal, BADGER, CHPM2030, Dig_IT, Real-time Mining, UNDROMEDA, UNEXUP, X-Mine. All projects aim at improving the access of the EU to raw materials. You can click on the links above to discover more about these raw materials projects.

All projects introduced their work and common synergies across all the project were discussed. This was a great opportunity to present the work ION4RAW and to share knowledge with other projects.


Raw Materials

2 years after the start of the project, the ION4RAW consortium gathered for a Circular Value Proposition Design Workshop

A mid-project reunion

Two years after the project’s start, the ION4RAW partners gathered for an online mid-project meeting, in order to present their achievements and share on the progress made.

This online gathering was also the opportunity for partners to reflect upon the exploitation of project results beyond the lifespan of the project. In H2020 projects such as ION4RAW, setting out a plan to ensure that the project results and their impact are maximised is key to ensure market uptake and the sustainable use of the innovations that have been developped.

Going circular with a Circular Value Proposition Design workshop

Inspired by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, the LGI team designed and facilitated a virtual Circular Value Proposition Design workshop to help bring a systems and circular economy perspective to the project.

Partners imagined circular opportunities along the whole value chain, stepped into their potential future customers’ shoes and brought insightful, multidisciplinary perspectives into the discussions. The next step will be to co-develop a Circular Business Model for the project.

Raw Materials

PDAC 2021: Discover ION4RAW and other H2020 projects at the World’s Premier Mineral Exploration & Mining Convention

The World’s Premier Mineral Exploration & Mining convention

PDAC 2021 has now started. From March 8 to 11, the World’s Premier Mineral Exploration & Mining Convention will hold its 89th edition. Though the Convention usually takes place in Toronto, Canada, it is going online for the 2021 edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated sanitary and travel restrictions. This will allow attendees and speakers to participate from everywhere in the world.

The PDAC Convention provides mineral and mining professionals, as well as investors, analysts, geologists, executives, government officials and students, access to an array of programming, short courses, presentations and unparalleled networking opportunities.The four-day annual convention held in Toronto, Canada, has grown in size, stature and influence since it began in 1932 and today is the event of choice for the world’s mineral industry.

EU Research to be highlighted at PDAC

This year again, ION4RAW will be one of the EU H2020 projects that will be showcased. The EU is participating in a Trade Show with 9 virtual booths, where H2020 projects related to raw materials will be featured. We are proud to share the project objectives and results with such an international audience and along with other H2020 projects.

Critical Raw Materials Raw Materials

ION4RAW is now featured on the RMIS Platform

ION4RAW is now part of the EU-funded project to be featured on the RMIS platform. What does this mean? Why is it important? Let’s find out!

What is the RMIS Platform?

The European Commission’s Raw Materials Information System (RMIS) is developed by the Directorate-General (DG) Joint Research Centre (JRC) in cooperation with the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROWTH). The RMIS is the Commission’s reference web-based knowledge platform on non-fuel, non-agricultural raw materials from primary and secondary sources.

As stressed in the 2008 European Union (EU) Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) and further recognised by the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials (EIP-SIP), raw materials are essential for the sustainable and sound functioning of Europe’s industries. The EC is committed to promote the competitiveness of industries related to raw materials. These industries play important roles in many downstream sectors in Europe, such as construction, defence, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery, equipment and renewable energy devices. Securing undistorted access to raw materials – in particular, critical raw materials (CRM) – is crucial to stimulate investment in innovation and new technologies.

In that context, the RMIS provides a structured repository of knowledge related to non-fuel, non-agricultural raw materials from primary and secondary sources. The overarching goal of the RMIS is to facilitate:

  • the availability, coherence and quality of knowledge required by specific EU raw materials policies and EC services;
  • access to key raw materials information from knowledge bases within and beyond Europe.

Specific parts of the RMIS support access to in-depth knowledge on the topics most relevant to the European and International raw materials context, such as Critical Raw Materials (CRM), secondary raw materials (SRM), economics and trade, and stocks and flows of raw materials, as well as analyses of aspects of environmental and social sustainability related to raw materials.

With the aim of establishing a continuous exchange of knowledge with national, EU-level and global knowledge providers, the RMIS includes the ‘Raw materials knowledge gateway’, which is a virtual space for providers for consolidating, expanding and increasing the visibility of raw materials-related knowledge.

ION4RAW on the Platfom

Several EU-funded projects related to raw materials are featured on the RMIS platform to advertise their work and findings. ION4RAW is now part of them, thus enabling a wider exposure for the project and its results within the European raw materials community.

To access it, click on the “European Level” Button, then “EU funded project” and select ION4RAW from the dropdown list. The ION4RAW page presents an overview of the project and its activities. It includes details about the work conducted within each work package as well as highlights from the work that has already been completed.

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