Prospecting critical raw materials from wastes

Related Files
  • 2015•03•04     Bonn

    First Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform providing access to data on mineral resources from extraction to end of life products with the ability to reference all spatial and non-spatial data

    The ProSUM project, funded by the European Union (€3.051m) and the Swiss Government (€0.63m), will deliver the First Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform, a centralised database of all available data and information on arisings, stocks, flows and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), batteries and mining wastes.  The availability of primary and secondary raw materials data, easily accessible in one platform, will provide the foundation for improving Europe’s position on raw material supply, with the ability to accommodate more wastes and resources in future. ProSUM will provide data for improving the management of these wastes and enhancing the resource efficiency of collection, treatment and recycling.

    Every year in Europe, around 9 million tonnes of WEEE and 7-8M tonnes and ELVs are generated, and over 1 million tonnes batteries are sold.  These products are a rich source of secondary critical raw materials (CRMs) in the urban mine.  For example, 99% of world Gallium consumption is in integrated circuits and optoelctronic devices, 74% of Indium in flat panel displays and 27% of cobalt in rechargeable batteries.  Previous and active mining deposits also contain untapped reserves of CRMs.

    Until now, the data on CRMs has been produced by a variety of institutions including government agencies, universities, NGOs and industry and lies scattered in different databases, formats and reports which is difficult to compare or aggregate.

    ProSUM, Latin for ‘I am useful’, and standing for Prospecting Secondary raw materials in the Urban mine and Mining waste, will create an Information Network that allows partners in the network to provide and use data by the creation of an inventory of waste streams with a high potential to serve as a source of CRMs. This ground breaking project will produce the EU Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform (EU-UMKDP) providing user friendly, seamless access to data and intelligence on mineral resources from extraction to end of life products with the ability to reference all spatial and non-spatial data.  The link to primary mineral resources is provided through the existing EU Minerals Knowledge Data Platform. The project will be addressed to a wide range of end-users, including the recycling industry, producers and producer compliance schemes, and policy makers.

    All available data will be collated and screened to see if it allows for better characterization of the material content of these waste and whether better data is required.  This will lead to the identification of the need for additional standards and datasets and harmonized methodologies for characterizing the CRM content of these waste streams.