By Products Critical Raw Materials Mineral Processing Technology Mining Raw Materials Sustainable Ionometallurgy

Exploring Sustainable Metal Electrodeposition: ION4RAW Partner at ECS Conference

ION4RAW Partner Gøril Jahrsengene from SINTEF, attended the ECS Conference in Gothenburg last month. This global event drew a remarkable 3,200 attendees and featured a diverse program of 2,427 talks and 1,381 student abstracts. Gøril Jahrsengene made a noteworthy contribution with her presentation titled “Electrochemical Investigations of Ag and Bi in Choline Chloride-Ethylene Glycol DES Electrolyte.”

Her presentation was part of the “Metal Electrodeposition from Fundamentals to Applications” symposium, in the session “Beyond Water.” To explore further details of her work, you can access the abstract and additional information on the ECS Conference website.

Our partner’s active participation at this event reflects the ION4RAW project’s commitment to advancing knowledge and promoting collaboration in the field of raw materials research. Stay tuned for more updates on our ongoing efforts to change the industry.

By Products Critical Raw Materials Mineral Processing Technology Mining Raw Materials Sustainable Ionometallurgy

Exploring Sustainable Mineral Extraction: Insights from the first in person ION4RAW Consortium meeting.

The ION4RAW consortium recently convened in Freiberg, Germany, for their first in-person meeting, marking an important step towards a more sustainable future. This gathering brought together experts and researchers committed to shifting mineral extraction practices and promoting the responsible use of raw materials.

During the three productive days, the consortium members engaged in fruitful discussions, sharing valuable insights and updates on the progress of their work packages. This in person meeting allowed for fruitful discussions and research collaborations, enabling the exchange of ideas and the alignment of efforts towards the project’s common goals.

The highlight of the meeting was the consortium’s visit to Freiberg’s metal mine, an enlightening experience that showcased the innovative practices employed for mineral extraction, the ongoing experiments conducted on-site, and the range of metals being extracted. Witnessing the operations first-hand underscored the significance of responsible mining and the crucial role it plays in achieving a greener and more environmentally conscious future.

The ION4RAW project recognizes the pressing need for a paradigm shift in mineral extraction, aiming to develop innovative techniques that reduce environmental impact while ensuring the efficient utilization of raw materials. By combining expertise from various fields, the consortium strives to unlock new possibilities and drive the transition towards a more sustainable and resource-efficient society. Through ongoing research, development, and collaboration, the ION4RAW consortium seeks to pioneer breakthrough solutions that will help preserve our planet’s precious resources for generations to come.

The TU Freiberg International Centre deserves special recognition for hosting the consortium and providing an ideal platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration.

As the project continues to make significant strides towards sustainable mineral extraction, stay tuned for more updates on the work being done by the ION4RAW consortium.

Critical Raw Materials Mining Raw Materials

A look back: ION4RAW’s Participation in the Biorecover Seminar Series

In March 2023, the H2020 BIORECOVER project organized an online seminar series in collaboration with several European projects, including ION4RAW, EIS, AfricaMaVal, and SCRREEN2. The seminars delved into the pressing issue of raw materials and their pivotal role in the global energy transition, which poses significant challenges to our world today.

Europe’s heavy reliance on raw materials for its growth, competitiveness, and transition to a greener economy makes it imperative to establish and maintain sustainable supply chains for raw materials. However, the current scale of unlocking unexploited ore reserves falls short of meeting the demand. Therefore, innovative and transformative strategies are needed to develop environmentally and socially sustainable raw material value chains that align with Europe’s climate, security, and economic ambitions.

The webinar series comprised of three seminars, each addressing a distinct aspect of raw materials sustainability. The first seminar on “Establishing responsible global partnerships” took place on 7th March 2023. It was followed by a second webinar focused on “Improving the sustainability of critical raw materials extraction” on 9th March 2023. Finally, the last webinar on “Researching unexploited European reserves” took place on 15th March 2023. ION4RAW took part in both the second and final webinar which provided a platform for leading experts to share their experiences and insights, shedding light on the opportunities and challenges in developing sustainable raw material value chains.

The ION4RAW project is proud to have been part of this important seminar series and looks forward to continuing collaboration with other projects and stakeholders to drive positive change in the raw materials sector.

Mineral Processing Technology

The Effect of Macroscopic Particle Features on Mineral Dissolution

New publication by ION4RAW authors Chandra Widyananda Winardhi, Jose Ricardo da Assuncao Godinho and Jens Gutzmer (HZDR). Discover the article in detail with a focus on mineral dissolution. 

Mineral dissolution is a dynamic process in which kinetics depend on the reactive surface area, orientation, and geometry of the dissolving mineral grain. Dissolution rate is, thus, not represented by a single value, but rather, by a spectrum that is affected by the reactivity of different types of surface features.

Such dissolution rate spectra are usually obtained by very detailed studies of perfectly cleaved surfaces by atomic force microscopy or in situ studies, such as flow-through experiments. This study visualizes dissolution progress by repeated X-ray computed tomography scans of a single particle. This allows studying the influence of larger particle features, such as corners and edges, at the interception of macroscopic faces of particles, as well as the influence of those macroscopic features on the dissolution rate spectra. As a suitable case study, the dissolution of a monomineralic galena (PbS) particle in ethaline is studied.

The observed changes in particle geometry are evaluated using a newly developed empirical model in order to break down the rate spectra as a function of the particle geometry. Results illustrate that dissolution rates are exponentially correlated with the distance to crystal corners and edges. The reactivity map generated from these exponential relations shows a linear trendline with the dissolution rates over the entire surface of the studied galena particle.

The empirical reactivity map developed here opens the possibility of predicting the dissolution rate of particulate materials based on computed tomography and the optimal geometrical properties of the particles that maximize the dissolution, e.g., size and shape.

Raw Materials

ION4RAW raw materials awareness campaign: RawMaterials4Future Quiz

This year’s Raw Materials Week took place from 14 to 18 November 2022. This week was an opportunity for raw materials related projects to be creative and that is why the SCRREEN project, in collaboration with the ION4RAW, AfricaMaVal, Biorecover and PEACOC projects and the PROMETIA Association created the RawMaterials4Future Quiz to engage with a public that was already familiar with the concept of raw materials. But the quiz was also an opportunity for people without much knowledge of raw materials to learn more about them and their criticallity.

The quiz was launched on 14 November along with social media posts to better engage with the audience.

With over 100 particpants, the first 10 winners were rewarded with Guillaume Pitron’s Rare Metals War: the dark side of clean energy and digital technologies. 

Interested in re-living the experience? Questions from the RawMaterials4Future Quiz are now available on our website. Test your knowledge now!

Mineral Processing Technology

ION4RAW was mentioned in February 2022 Issue of “Mines et Carrières” Following SIM Congress.

Following the SIM Congress of November 2021, an issue of “Mines et Carrières” was released earlier this year named “RÉSILIENCE DE L’INDUSTRIE MINÉRALE APRÈS LA CRISE SANITAIRE” which focuses on the impact the pandemic has had on the mining industry, the weaknesses revealed, and the strengths needed going forward.

This issue indeed stresses the fact that ”The organisation of production and the markets for mineral raw materials have been disrupted by the long pandemic of Covid-19. The price of raw materials was no longer the only decisive factor. The mineral industry has had to look for solutions. Just like the administrations and the various governing bodies, they have adapted and had to learn the lessons of this new “normality”.”

Among the solutions developed, the ION4RAW project and the research it conducts has been mentioned  as a relevant innovative process allowing to extract and recover unexploited small auxiliary metals from ore and mine tailings.

To discover the full article!

Mineral Processing Technology

ION4RAW At the 2022 PDAC Convention

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the PDAC 2022 Convention was held in Toronto, Canada and welcomed 17,445 investors, analysts, Indigenous leaders, mining executives, geologists, government officials and students.

This was an opportunity for the ION4RAW project to present its progress and the activities carried out in Europe. Flyers and the second edition of the newsletter were distributed at the European Booth during the event. It was also an opportunity for ION4RAW representatives (BRGM) present on site to answer the questions of curious geologists on the matter of European resources and predictivity activities. Reports available on the ION4RAW website were, for instance, shared.

Using the KAYO device, BRGM was able to show reports and figures from the project. Agnico-Eagle, Element08 (consortium of research on CRM in Quebec), Quebec government as well as Eramet and CGG were very enthusiastic about the work done through specifically the deliverable D2.1 “mapping of by-products potential in mineral deposits”.

To further discover the ION4RAW inventory, check out the full presentation here!

Mineral Processing Technology

ION4RAW Participation in the EWLA2022 – Presentation of the Inventory of by-products and critical raw materials.

From 12-15 July 2022, the University of Bern hosted the 15th edition of the European Workshop on Laser Ablation (EWLA2022) organised in Bern, Switzerland. The event was the occasion to discuss results, novel concepts and developments in laser ablation-based techniques in the context of sustainable by-product and Critical Raw Materials (CRM) recovery as well as to stimulate interaction between academia and industry.

Lectures, talks, workshops, and poster presentations were presented on the following topics:

 Fundamental research:

  • Laser-matter interaction
  • Particle formation and transport phenomena
  • Qualitative and quantitative element and isotope mapping (2D and 3D)
  • Standardisation
  • Isotope ratio analysis
  • Data processing and management
  • Chemical depth profiling
  • Simultaneous tandem and/or multi sensor techniques


  • Earth, Geology, and Planetary Sciences
  • Bio imaging & Life Sciences
  • Archaeology & Cultural Heritage
  • Material Sciences and Industrial Applications

Among the topics presented during the event, Catherine Lerouge, as a member of the ION4RAW project, introduced the “Inventory of by-products and critical raw materials in the El Porvenir Pb-Zn and Cerro Lindo ore deposits: laser ablation ICP-MS and electron microprobe”

The objectives of the inventory are to improve the recovery of by products and CRM during the ore treatment processes, to obtain reliable estimates of by products and CRM and to develop ionometallurgy processes. By supporting and encouraging the recovery of by-product and CRMs, we are able to improve the knowledge of target deposits as well as characterize ores by determining carrier minerals and their distribution.

To further discover the ION4RAW inventory, check out the full presentation here!

Mineral Processing Technology

ION4RAW at the French national network PROMETHEE

Our ION4RAW partner BRGM presented the ION4RAW process to French national experts during the Scientific days of the PROMETHEE network.

The French national network GDR PROMETHEE was created in 2016 in order to structure the French research on the hydrometallurgical processes for a better management of the non-energetic raw material from mining activities and recycling, and more especially low-grade resources. This network gathers 30 laboratories from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM), partner of the ION4RAW project.

Scientific days are organized annually by the GdR PROMETHEE, and are open to researchers, engineers, PhD and pos-doctoral students from the academic and industry network, experts in the field of non-energetic raw material management.

This year, our ION4RAW partner BRGM seize the chance of having such a scientific pool of experts to present the ION4RAW project with a presentation « Premiers essais d’évaluation de la disponibilité des éléments traces CRM dans les minerais aurifères et cuprifères européens pour la récupération par ionométallurgie ». The presentation is available online here.

Attendees were interested to learn more on the hydroprocess and know the reagent tested for DES and lixiviation by WP4 but as it is confidential, they were invited to contact the coordinator of the project (Maria Tripiana from Idener) as well as Tecnalia and Sintef for available details and to follow the project newsletter and following publications.

Discussions with external stakeholders will follow this very fruitful event!


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.

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