EIT International Summer School "From Dredging to Deep-Sea Mining"

19-23/09/2022

Striving for independence from the import of Critical Raw Materials, the EU has been making considerable investments towards reaching marine mineral resources. Recent EU projects such as Blue Mining, Blue Nodules, MIDAS, VAMOS, as well as numerous national and international programmes on exploration and exploitation of seabed minerals enabled making considerable progress towards the establishment of European deep-sea mining industry, which has a potential of creating a hundreds-billion market and thousands of new jobs. The current knowledge about deep-sea mining and particularly about the impact of mining activities on the marine environment is quite diversified and often contradictory. This is not conducive to the acceptance of seabed mining by society due to the absence of a clear and holistic picture of seabed mining and its possible environmental footprint. The DSM-School project is aiming to become a platform for the elaboration and dissemination of knowledge in deep-sea mining to increase awareness of wider society on marine mineral resources, state-of-the-art mining technologies, recent investigations on the environmental impact of seabed mining activities, as well as economic, political, social and legislative aspects. The project brings together leading universities, research organizations, and industry professionals to reach the wider society by using different communication tools such as a two-week summer school organized in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, the Internet, and public events. The DSM-School project assumes to be turned into a long-term, self-sustainable and Europe-wide initiative for the dissemination of knowledge and boosting research and innovations.   https://www.ntnu.edu/igp/dsm-summer-school  

April 2022 – Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger at RIC Leoben

On 20 April 2022, Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger visited the research facilities of the Montanuniversität Leoben that are working on pyrolysis for the production of hydrogen. These activities are located in the “Resources Innovation Center” (RIC Leoben), to which Minister Köstinger promised funding of three million Euros, divided between the years 2022 – 2028. The focal points of the funding agreement are activities on the following areas:

  • Digitalisation of extraction; preparation and processing processes as well as supply chains for raw materials – Digital innovation in technology and administration;
  • Innovative raw materials for digitalisation and substitution of critical raw materials
  • High-purity elemental carbon as a carrier material for digital applications.

The Resources Innovation Center Leoben will work on research topics (dissertations) on these themes, involving research funding from Austrian, European and global funding programmes (FFG, Horizon Europe, EIT RawMaterials). “Crisis security requires raw materials. Not all raw materials are infinitely available everywhere, which is why the Resources Innovation Center (RIC) at the Montanuniversität Leoben is an important institution that we are supporting in its work with three million Euros. Research is already being carried out here to find scientific answers to future challenges in the form of innovations,” said Elisabeth Köstinger.

March 2022 – PLANETARY BOUNDARIES – ONLINE LECTURE SERIES

A guideline for engineers about earth limitations – 2021-2022

In 2009, former director of the Stockholm Resilience Center Johan Rockström led a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists to identify the nine processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth system. The scientists proposed 9 quantitative planetary boundaries:

  • Climate Change
  • Change in Biosphere Integrity
  • Land-System Change
  • Freshwater Use
  • Biochemical Flows
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Atmospheric Aerosol Loading
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Introduction of Novel Entities

Crossing these boundaries increases the risk of generating large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental changes. Since then the planetary boundaries framework has generated enormous interest within science, policy, and practice. Over the course of 10 lectures, international experts will introduce the audience to the concept of the 9 planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.

https://ric-leoben.at/en/sdg/planetary-boundaries/

Manuel Ortega, MSc

Manuel joined RIC Leoben in January 2019. On a full-time basis, he successfully manages the MiReBooks project, “Mixed Reality Handbooks for Mining Education”, which is a 14 partner pan-European education project, with a budget of 3 Mio EUR. The project is funded by EIT RawMaterials Academy and tackles current needs and gaps in mining education regarding digitalisation of contents and concepts. (You can find more details on the project in the section “EIT Regional Center Leoben”.) Manuel obtained an MSc in mining engineering from León Mining University, Spain. After graduating from university he worked in the oil and gas service industry for many years. He opted for his current job because he felt like it was time to return to his mining roots.

At a glance

IlluMINEation

Embedding digital thinking into the heart of the mining business

To foster more, but sustainable mineral production in the EU, SUMEX establishes a sustainability framework for the extractive industry in Europe. It does so by considering the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal, as well as EU Social License to Operate considerations and involves stakeholders from industry, government, academia and civil society backgrounds from all across the EU. This framework is then applied across the extractive value chain to analyse the mineral, as well as relevant economic, environmental and social policy frameworks of the EU, member states and selected regions along five focus areas – socio-economic and environmental impact assessments, land use planning, health and safety, reporting official statistics and permitting processes/policy integration-to find, or build, where needed, good practices or tools for an open access toolkit, which will be embedded in a broader Community of Practise (CoP) and which forms the basis for capacity building. This CoP will consider relevant stakeholder groups, with a focus on permitting authorities, across the EU, providing a digital platform and using a series of workshops and webinars. In SUMEX, the experience from other projects builds a powerful foundation for addressing the challenge of how best to implement sustainability considerations into the whole raw materials value chain.

Duration: 09/2020 – 08/2023

Partner: Montanuniversität Leoben (Department Mineral Resources Engineering, Lead), Boliden Mineral AB, Joanneum Research, AMS AG, DMT GmbH&Co KG , EPIROC Rock Drills AB, KGHM Cuprum, GEOTEKO SERWIS SPOLKA, KGHM POLSKA MIEDZ SA, RHI Magnesita GmbH, DSI Underground Austria GmbH, FUNDACION TECNALIA Research & Inovation, IMA Engineering Ltd OY, INSTYTUT CHEMII BIOORGANICZNEJ POLSKIE, Minera de Orgiva SL, Retenua AB, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, WORLDSENSING SL