Tag Archives: Eramet

Eramet and EIT RawMaterials partner on water management challenge

Eramet is teaming up with the EIT RawMaterials to encourage more groundbreaking solutions to solve water management challenges within the mining and metals industry.

The Water Resource Innovation Challenge 2023 is seeking specific solutions to water-related challenges, such as safeguarding water quality by addressing concerns like pollution, wastewater management and erosion, reducing water consumption, and maximising recycling and implementing closed-loop systems in the field of hydrometallurgy.

Since water mismanagement within the mining operations can harm local communities and habitats, the industry has a heightened obligation to adopt sustainable water management practices to minimise its environmental impact while also ensuring access to valuable resources, Eramet says.

For decades, Eramet has been actively implementing water management measures in its mining ventures and has a broad portfolio of successful projects that use creative solutions in numerous locations throughout the world, including Argentina, Gabon, or New Caledonia, it says.

The ultimate goal of the challenge is to create lasting partnerships between Eramet and start-ups. This presents both an opportunity to collaborate with a global mining group at the forefront of sustainable mining solutions and to gain visibility on an international scale.

Last year’s challenge was dedicated to safety. The winner, Unusuals, proposed a solution on the use of artificial intelligence and data processing to automate maintenance of assets and detect any anomalies. Its project is currently being tested in Senegal.

This year, with the help of EIT RawMaterials, Eramet is looking to foster the next breakthrough innovation to boost the management of water to help ensure a sustainable future for the mining and metals industry.

The winner will be awarded €50,000 ($53,652) to carry out a POC (Proof Of Concept), supported by Eramet, to develop and test their solution in the field.

Bernd Schäfer, CEO, Managing Director, EIT RawMaterials, said: “Promoting sustainability in the mining and metals industry and fostering innovation are fundamental elements of EIT RawMaterials’ mission, so I am thrilled to announce our support for Eramet’s Water Resource Innovation Challenge 2023. Initiatives like this have a key role to play in providing sustainable access to strategic raw materials, and Europe’s transition to a green and digital economy.”

Marion Lenoir, Open Innovation Director at Eramet Ideas, added: “Capping water consumption and preserving its quality is a paramount global challenge. At Eramet, we believe that innovation plays a vital role in addressing this in our industry. We are excited to launch the Water Resource Innovation Challenge 2023, as we seek to discover and support the next innovator who can contribute to this crucial cause in cooperation with our teams.

Start-ups and SMEs offering solutions to preserve water quality or reduce water consumption and/or maximise recycling in mining or hydrometallurgy are invited to apply to the Water Resource Innovation Challenge 2023 from June 5 to September 13, 2023. A group of 10 pre-selected teams will be invited to participate in an online pitching round on October 25, 2023. Three finalists will be selected for the innovation seminar pitch in January 2024 and the winning team will be awarded a collaboration contract with Eramet and €50,000 in funding to realise a Proof of Concept.

Interested parties can apply here: https://open-innovation.eitrawmaterials.eu/challenges/eramet-water-2023/

Eramet re-energises Argentina lithium development with help of Tsingshan

Eramet plans to restart construction of its lithium production plant in Argentina after signing an agreement with Tsingshan that will see the China-based steel group finance the build in exchange for a 49.9% interest in the project.

The construction of the 24,000 t/y lithium carbonate equivalent plant will start during the March quarter of 2022, with commissioning scheduled for early 2024.

Eramet and Tsingshan have an existing relationship with the two companies jointly owning the Weda Bay nickel operations in Indonesia.

“With this project, Eramet will become the first European company to develop sustainable and large-scale lithium production, supported by a performing process developed in-house by its R&D centre,” Eramet said.

This is a two-step process that, firstly, uses an active solid to extract and concentrate the lithium. Developed by Eramet in liaison with IFPEN (the French Institute of Petroleum and New Energies) and Seprosys, this works like a sponge, capturing the lithium contained in the brine. Fresh water is then used to release the stored lithium. To further concentrate the extracted metal, two successive processes are then conducted: nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.

The lithium is then purified, after which a reaction occurs with sodium carbonate to convert it to lithium carbonate. Once filtered again and washed, it achieves the chemical quality of the finished product, Eramet said.

The lithium project was mothballed in April 2020 during COVID-19, as the conditions were not met to launch construction.

“Based on the partnership signed with Tsingshan and factoring in solid fundamentals as well as excellent outlook for the lithium market, the group’s Board of Directors has considered that the conditions are now met to launch the plant construction,” Eramet said.

Eramet will control the project, with a 50.1% interest. For its part, Tsingshan will contribute up to $375 million to the project through the financing of the plant’s construction, leading to it earning a 49.9% stake in the project.

Eramet owns perpetual mining rights over a major lithium concession, in the form of brine, located on the Andean highlands in Salta Province. The project plans to extract brine from the salar and process it into lithium carbonate. The 24,000 t/y LCE project is expected to have cash costs of around $3,500/t LCE ex-works, with large-scale drainable resources.

A pilot plant installed on the site since 2020 has demonstrated, in real conditions, the lithium carbonate production, which brought very high direct extraction yields of around 90%, according to the company.

“The project has strong ESG performance, notably as demonstrated by the quality of the relationships tied with local communities during the preparatory phase of the project,” the company said. “Eramet’s process also presents an advantage in terms of hydric resources use compared with projects supported by a conventional extraction process. All Eramet’s CSR standards will be applied on the activity.”

Christel Bories, Eramet Group Chair and CEO, said: “Our decision to carry out our lithium project in Argentina is in line with the dynamic of strong market growth. It is a key milestone in the deployment of our strategic roadmap, which aims at positioning Eramet as a reference player in metals for the energy transition.”

Eramet and EIT RawMaterials launch Responsible Mining challenge

Eramet has launched the Responsible Mining Innovation Challenge 2021 in partnership with EIT RawMaterials.

Following the success of last year’s challenge, Eramet is launching the 2021 edition of its Open Innovation Challenge with a theme of Responsible Mining.

“Consumers, like our customers, are increasingly demanding low-carbon and responsible supply chains,” the company said. “Eramet is particularly well positioned to meet this demand: CSR is at the centre of our strategic model and positions Eramet as a committed and contributive corporate citizen.“

Applicable to a wide area ranging from environmentally friendly exploration, water management, safety and monitoring at mining sites, mine rehabilitation and biodiversity to traceability of raw materials, this challenge illustrates the ambition of Eramet to make innovation a major contributor to responsible mining, it says.

Start-ups and SMEs are invited to apply to the Eramet Responsible Mining Challenge 2021 from June 15 to September 15, 2021. The winning team will be awarded a collaboration contract with Eramet (up to €50,000 ($60,549)), with potential extension to a long-term collaboration.

This new edition of Eramet’s Open Innovation challenge builds on six years of successful collaboration with EIT RawMaterials, which aims to provide efficient, competitive and responsible technology solutions for a sustainable supply of mineral resources for the European market.

Marion Lenoir, Head of Open Innovation Department at Eramet, said: “Eramet takes a 360° CSR approach integrating environment, climate, human rights, ethics and traceability of our products. Emerging technologies play a major role in advancing the mining industry, reducing the environmental impact of mining operations, as well as improving efficiency and reducing costs.”

Comilog enlists help of JRC, Geka Telecom for Moanda 4G/LTE infrastructure

Comilog, a leading manganese miner and part of Eramet Group, has decided to build a Private 4G/LTE network in Moanda, Gabon, as part of an effort to modernise the operation.

JRC (Japan Radio Co Ltd) and Geka Telecom were selected to provide a turnkey solution. JRC will provide the LTE infrastructure for hundreds of subscribers and 4 RF sites, while GEKA Telecom will provide the full services.

Comilog, as part of its modernisation efforts, is investing in a modern and secured LTE infrastructure. This will see field staff equipped with ruggedised tablets and smartphones, with a target to digitalise the various processes to increase efficiency and reduce its use of paper. This is part of an overall project called Comilog 2020 to increase the capacity of the mine and to enhance the operation’s local added value.

JRC LTE infrastructure was chosen for the quality of its offer, JRC said. The proposed LTE infrastructure is designed to meet mission critical environment and performance. GEKA Telecom will provide its expertise for the settings of the network and the installation.

“We are very proud to contribute to the Comilog 2020 project,” Sato Katsuhiko, General Manager of 5G Project at JRC, said. “We are a specialist of wireless communication for mission critical networks. Projects such as Comilog 2020 are crucial for us. We aim to grow our private LTE/5G business significantly in the EMEA region.”

The Moanda mine is currently undergoing an expansion that will see a new mine open up on the Okouma plateau, 13 km to the north of Moanda. This could lead to 7 Mt/y of products being available for sale in 2023, compared with just over 4 Mt/y currently.

JRC, or Japan Radio Co Ltd, is a specialist of wireless infrastructure founded in 1915. Based in Japan and with offices across the world, it has provided complete Private LTE/5G networks since 2015.

GEKA Telecom, founded in 1982, has specialised in telecommunication networks in Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, to facilitate access to communication for all.