Project: Development of innovative and sustainable approaches applied to the recovery of gold and critical elements from ores and spent printed circuit boards

Acronym INN4MIN (Reference Number: JTC-2021_106)
Project Topic NN4MIN pretends to implement a strict I&D methodology to promote best practices in the recovery of gold from ore deposits (primary resources) and printed circuit boards PCBs (secondary resources), supported by a technological monitoring plan. Innovative methods will be investigated having as main drivers the reduction of environmental impacts, improvement of mineral processing efficiency and promotion of good practices in mining industry. Ore deposits are becoming poorer and complex. PCBs exhibits a high gold content, but their availability cannot be consistent to justify the investment on a processing plant. In line with this, INN4MIN will focus on the following topics: study of innovative comminution techniques to increase gold liberation from complex ores; use of greener reagents in the froth flotation and leaching stages; development of a cost-effective device to remove sterile material from the PCBs; design a hybrid hydrometallurgical approach for gold processing from ores and PCBs; recovery of critical elements during the hydrometallurgy of gold; improve the public perception regarding the mining industry. The project will start with the preparation and characterization of the material that will be studied (WP1). Then, comminution based on EPF will be compared to the conventional comminution pathway (WP2). This would be followed by the assessment of EPF effect on subsequent separation processes, by the study of greener flotation reagents and by the development of a prototype to reject sterile material from PCBs (WP3). The hydrometallurgy of gold will be studied to develop a hybrid process based on the use of greener leaching solutions. Moreover, the feasibility of a staged leaching process to recover critical elements would be assessed (WP4). An action plan to face the public perception regarding mining industry will be implemented during the project (WP5). WP6 is devoted to the project management, ensuring the timely delivery and dissemination of the project results.
Network ERA-MIN3
Call ERA-MIN3 Joint Call 2021

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto Coordinator Portugal
2 BRGM Partner France
3 G.E.O.S. Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH Partner Germany
4 National Laboratory for Energy and Geology Partner Portugal
5 INOVA+ Innovation for growth Partner Portugal