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Nanoparticles – the future of the mining industry

What use industrial waste and mine water can have, how to process them into innovative products and how to implement the principles of sustainable development in the mining industry – these were the topics discussed at the meeting dedicated to the European Union’s  Project  ProMine, with KGHM Ecoren being the organiser of the event.

ProMine Project Informational Day was organised at the seat of Ecoren on Friday, 10 September. The Project is an initiative of the European Commission with the goal to introduce into the industry innovative solutions that come from nanotechnologies as well as mineral raw material based products. Vice President of KGHM Ecoren Edyta Kozieł formally opened the meeting in which participated the members of the Consortium from Poland and abroad as well as the representatives of local self-governments and enterprises associated with KGHM Polska Miedź.

 

The first part of the day was dedicated to presenting the ProMine concept.  According to Witold Kurylak from the Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals, the European Union allocated EUR 54 billions for the entire support programme (scheduled for 2007 – 2013) designed to promote research that is important for Europe, including a budget of over EUR 17 million for the ProMine Project alone. Within the framework of the Project, 4D geological models are being created, showing the changes of mineral resources in Europe; likewise ecologically efficient technologies are being developed to obtain new products which are directly based on mineral raw materials. The final stage of the Project will include the economic analysis of the products to be implemented and the description of the effects the developed technologies will have on the environment.  The entire programme will be conducted until April 2013.

As ProMine is an international project, there were also guests from abroad during the Informational Day; Dirk De Ketelaere from a Maltese company IRMCO spoke about the creation of an exchange information platform within the ProMine framework whereas Bertil Grundelt, representing Kemakta Konsult from Sweden, talked about model units dealing with specific projects and technologies. Ecoren is one of such model units conducting research on new products connected with rhenium. Moreover, within the framework of the Project, the company is participating in the research on new nanoproducts: spherical  rhenium powderand metal powders containing, apart from rhenium, nickel, cobalt and iron.

“We expect that spherical rhenium powder will be used in aviation and aerospace industry. When compared to metallic rhenium, it will have lower porosity, higher density, durability, and it will be of purer grade,

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