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Upscaling of two step dust recycling process for EAF dust

Zinc is mainly used for the galvanization of steel products to protect them against corrosion. After the lifetime of these products (e.g. car bodies or construction elements) they return to the steel mill as scrap, if recycled. The Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) is the common recycling facility for this purpose and uses up to 100% scrap. Within this process, roughly 20 kg of zinc containing dust is produced per ton of steel, ending up in 1.3 mio tons of so called EAF dust per year in Europe. At present, only about half of this amount is treated in huge centralized facilities, recovering only zinc.

The novel ‘2sDR’ (two-step dust recycling) process represents the first zero-waste technology for zinc recycling and offers a flexible, environmental friendly and effective solution for steel mills to operate their own recycling process avoiding transport or disposal costs.

The process consists of two steps, using two different metallurgical technologies: The material is clinkered in a short rotary kiln to remove harmful elements and then reduced in an Electric Arc Furnace. Zinc is extracted via the off gas as Oxide and can be sold, iron occurs in form of an alloy that is reused in iron and steel industry. The residual slag can be used for construction purposes.
During the project duration, this process will be up scaled to semi-industrial size, technological and financial viability will be proven. Based on the outcome of this project, the technology is brought to market and the first recycling plant using the proposed ‘2sDR’technology shall be erected in Austria.

01/2020 – 12/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Upscaling

Montanuniversität Leoben (Lead), ARP GmbH, DMT, Politecnico di Milano, Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH, Marienhütte GmbH, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute

Chair of Nonferrous Metallurgy – Michael Auer
Total: € 1.081.654
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 345.674


Learning the uses of minerals through non-conventional and digital tools

The 3D BRIEFCASE Project seeks to bring mineral raw materials and mining closer to society. Its ultimate goal is that citizens from an early age and students, get to know and understand from where the mineral products they use in daily life come from, what minerals can be found in their environment, and how our daily purchasing decisions affect the social environment of the people who live in countries with mineral resources exploitation.
During the first part of the project, BRIEFCASEs are developed covering sensitive aspects of the mining activities and focusing on primary school pupils to students (6-14 years old) and their teachers, including virtual material (web) compiling all these materials to offer an interactive tool that can be self-used by pupils.
The second part of the project, 3D BRIEFCASE, proposes to improve the virtual tool into an augmented reality (AR) application to attract students up to 18 years old and to adapt the tool for a 3D-application for permanent use in science museums and educational centres, and for private use of the general public.

01/2020 – 12/2021
EIT RawMaterials – RM Academy

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Ayma Mining Solutions SL, Colegio Oficial de Ingieros de Minas del Sur de España, Coventry University, EUROMINES, Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Geoalcali, Gomez Pardo Foundation, Spanish Geological Survey, Magnesitas Navarras S.A., Monolithos Ltd, Technical University of Kosice, New University of Lisbon, University of Milano- Bicocca, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute

RIC Leoben – Magdalena Bechter
Total: € 443.780
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 32.363

BetterGeoEdu 2.0

Teaching raw materials to primary schools with gamification

As increasing world demand for raw materials is facing stronger public concerns on health and environmental issues there arises the need for a better targeted dissemination of knowledge and information, thus enforcing public awareness of the problem. To work towards public awareness, we must start early by increasing knowledge and interest about raw materials and geology – already in primary school. By targeting primary schools we also reach the public as a whole – through children, their parents and their teachers.
BetterGeoEdu 2.0 is a project that targets primary schools to work with wider society learning for raw materials. BetterGeoEdu will develop educational material about raw materials using BetterGeo – a modification of the immensely popular game Minecraft. Cooperation with teachers, museums, geoparks, and activity centres will result in train-the-trainer programmes as well as freely available exercises and instructions for teachers. BetterGeoEdu brings a unique and innovative way of teaching raw materials to primary schools using an already well-known and loved game.

01/2020 – 12/2021
EIT RawMaterials – RM Academy

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Geological Survey of Slovenia, Geological Survey of Sweden, Tallinn University of Technology, Trinity College Dublin, Technical University of Madrid, Université de Liège

RIC Leoben – Mariaelena Murphy
Total: € 569.273
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 69.915


Certification of Raw Materials

Unlike other sectors such as forestry, the food sector or the textile sector, there is no general and comprehensive certification of mineral resources. The up-scaling project CERA is developing a new certification scheme for mineral raw materials. CERA consists of eight work packages in which the DMT and its partners (LTU Business, University of Leiden, Montanuniversität Leoben and TÜV Nord CERT) form a close working group.

The following characteristics are required for the certification of raw materials:
• Competence in exploration, production and processing of mineral resources
• Experience in the certification process
• Management of a network to enterprises in the value chain of mineral resources

The knowledge and skills gained at DIM aim at increasing the employability of mining engineers. In the long run, the program will lead to an increase in sustainable mining and processing activities, which will result in economic growth and the creation of employment in respective countries.


The targeted output of this innovation work can best be described by means of, for example the certification of coffee or tea. It is known that certified producers showed substantial improvements in performance in comparison with non-certified producers. Coffee producers named main benefits of certification such as the reduction in production costs, a better price for the product, quality improvements of the product, access to new markets, environmental improvements, better cost management of the production, traceability of the production process, and most importantly improvements of working conditions. These benefits, amongst others, are also the focus of the certification of mineral resources. Additionally, an improvement in the image of certified producers as well as increasing sales could be possible advantages of a label for mineral resources.

01/2017 – 03/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Upscaling

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), DMT, Leiden
University, LTU Business, Research Institutes of Sweden, Tüv Nord;

Chair of Geology and Economic Geology – Frank Melcher
Total: € 1.662.661
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 261.963


Dubrovnik International ESEE Mining School

The main objective of the project is knowledge transfer, as well as strengthening innovation capacities in the mining, recycling and waste management sectors. This is a lifelong learning project that will be implemented in close partnership with industry stakeholders in all project consortium countries.

During the four years of project implementation, the following key topics will be analyzed:
• 2017 Zero waste management
• 2018 Deep intelligent mining
• 2019 Small mining sites
• 2020 Recycling

The knowledge and skills gained at DIM aim at increasing the employability of mining engineers. In the long run, the programme will lead to an increase in sustainable mining and processing activities, which will result in economic growth and the creation of employment in respective countries.

DIM ESEE Website

04/2017 – 04/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Regional Innovation Scheme

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), University of
Zagreb, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, University of Miskolc, Technical University of Kosice, AGH University of Science and Technology;

RIC Leoben – Mariaelena Murphy
Total: € 495.559
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 128.387


EIT International Summer School “From dreging to deep-sea mining”

Striving for independence from the import of Critical Raw Materials, the EU has made considerable investments towards reaching marine mineral resources. A European deep-sea mining industry would have 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 state-of-the-art mining technologies, recent investigations on the environmental impact of seabed mining activities, marine mineral resources, as well as economic, political, social and legislative aspects. The project will reach the wider society with communication tools such as a two-week summer school organized in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, the Internet, and public events.

01/2020 – 12/2022
EIT RawMaterials – RM Academy

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, IHC Mining B.V., Norwegian University of Science and Technology, STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Delft University of Technology

Chair of Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics – Nikolaus Sifferlinger
Total: € 292.455
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 38.085


European MSc in Geomatics for Sustainable Mineral Resource Management

A growing world population makes it necessary to progress the extraction of mineral resources in areas which are more difficult to access and characterized by increased mining / geological complexity and more harsh working conditions. At the same time the primary objectives will remain to ensure the highest level of operational and public safety and also to make best and optimal use of natural resources by maximizing recovery. The basis for this is the use of the most modern sensing technologies for geo-data acquisition and geo-data management, state-of-the-art methods for information extraction and analysis, and the assimilation of this information in digital 3D decision making models, such as the resource models or mining subsidence prediction models.
The European Course on Geomatics for Sustainable Mineral Resource Management aims to develop a European MSC course that develops future leaders and innovators in this field.
The educational content focuses on the following pillars:
• Sensing technologies for mine data gathering,
• Spatial (big) data management and visualization, and
• Spatial (big) data analysis and modelling.

04/2018 – 06/2020
EIT RawMaterials – Master Education

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Deutscher Markscheiderverein, DMT, Instituto Superior Técnico,
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Delft University of Technology;

Chair of Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics – Reinfried Pilgram
Total: € 341.375
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 51.250


Enhancing the skills of ESEE RM students towards the AchievemenT of SDGs

The project consortium of “ENhancing the skills for the AChievemenT of SDGs”, EnAct-SDGs, will cooperate in order to develop an Action Plan that will act as a driver to modernize the RM education practices to ensure the incorporation of the Sustainable Development principles in the educational programmes of the ESEE Universities, strengthen the skills and increase the capacity of University graduates and RM professionals.
During the project a number of actions will take place and methodological tools will be adopted so as: (a) to build a dynamic self-sustained network between the Industry, Academia, Researchers and Professionals of the RM sector; (b) to initially assess the existing Educational programmes of the Beneficiary Universities; (c) to take into account the needs and views of the stakeholders from the RM network, Policy makers and NGOs; (d) to identify the areas that need improvement; (e) propose a road map for the modernization of the educational programs of the Beneficiary Universities that could be then transferred as a Best practice to other Universities of the ESEE Region; (f) to organize pilot activities for the implementation of the new proposals.

The EnAct-SDGs project will cooperate with the existing and developing ecosystems of different EIT RM Innovation (RC Leoben and RC Freiberg) and RIS (RCGREECE and RCKOSICE) HUBs represented by the Consortium. The RM industry has already expressed their interest in the project implementation through their Letter of Intent.

01/2020 – 12/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Regional Innovation Scheme

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), AGH University of Science and Technology, Hub Innovazione Trentino – Fondazione, MYTILINEOS HOLDINGS S.A., National Technical University of Athens, Technical University of Kosice, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Università degli Studi di Trento

RIC Leoben – Anna Meyer
Total: € 459.167
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 55.438