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ProMine measures progress in Thessaloniki meeting

ProMine is a groundbreaking research and development project, funded largely by the EU under the Seventh Framework Programme.  The project targets the revitalization of the mining industry and the fostering of new growth across the EU through the development of new nano-particle products from new European mineral resources.  To achieve its aims ProMine brings together a consortium of 27 partners, from France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and is coordinated by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).   ‘Our meeting in Thessaloniki is expected to bring our vision another step closer to reality’ says Prof. Gabor Gaál, Project Technical Coordinator of GTK, adding ‘we are looking at economic benefits topping 100 billion Euros, with new resources and processes being partnered by new product development, right through to end user testing’.

Since its launch in May 2009, the highly inter-disciplinary expertise within the consortium has been mobilized around five prospective new highly added value products in four mineral belts.  In Greece, the Stratoni Operation has been selected as a ProMine model site for new nano-silica particle products.  The process is based on addition of olivine to acid mine waters which neutralises industrial waste, whilst at the same time precipitates high purity nano-particles of silica which can be used in the production of high performance concretes. The process has been demonstrated on a laboratory scale and will be up-scaled to pilot scale during the project. 

Based on current reserve estimates, the Stratoni area has a mine life of six years. ‘However, there is good potential to expand the resource and reserve base’ says Emmy Gazea from Hellas Gold SA which operates the Stratoni mines, adding ‘we are looking forward to contribute to the development within ProMine of a new, cutting edge web-based data management tool that will allow 3D and 4D visualization of Europe’s mineral resources’.  The enthusiasm to achieve the first ever predictive 4D modelling to yield new discoveries of Europe’s deep mineral resources is shared by Nikolaos Arvanitidis from the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, IGME, host of the Thessaloniki Meeting.  He adds ‘The Greek partners in ProMine are equally looking forward to the results of a rigorous sustainability assessment to ensure that the environmental footprint will be reduced as much as possible’.  ‘It is essential that all local stakeholders are brought up to date on the new prospects we will be discussing at this meeting’ adds Emmy Gazea, ‘and we therefore look forward to invite all stakeholders to a series of workshops which are planned over the duration of the project’.  

Anna Spiteri from Integrated Resources Management Company Ltd in Malta who is responsible to organize ‘dialogue workshops’ in each of the ProMine Model sites, explains that the active involvement of the mining and manufacturing industry, decision makers, such as water managers, and land use planners, as well as the local community represented by the various NGOs and local government, will contribute towards finding solutions to existing problems and should lead to new employment opportunities and a better quality of life.


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