WP3: New nano-products from mineral exploitation

Knowledge & Information Exchange Flows with WP3

Spherical Rhenium (Ecoren, IMN)

Nano-silica (SELOR)


The main objectives of WP3 were established by the industrial partners in the consortium and concentrate on the development of innovative new mineral products and new methods of extracting metals from ores and mining wastes, with a focus on products requiring nano-scale raw metals or minerals, since this is a major growth market, where the EU can develop and maintain a global competitive edge. The five new products to be developed at bench and pilot scale by the industrial partners are summarized below.

ProductApplication area
Spherical rhenium / Rhenium alloys Aerospace, TGV trains, turbine blades and engines
Metal fibres High performance abrasive products for automotive, wood, construction, metal and high tech industry, conductive metal (Cu, Ag, Au) fibres, mats: carbide fibres
Nano silica Construction materials, catalysts
Nano-coatings New paper making chemical for coatings for ink jet Paper industry
Schwertmannite Pigments, ceramics water treatment


For each product detailed analysis of its characteristics and performance will be performed and checked against the specifications developed in the beginning of the project according to the industrial requirements. Only after receiving positive results of such an analysis the decision to continue with pilot scale investigations is made. Since the final goal for the industry is a full scale operating production line, the project partners will prepare techno-economic studies for industrial applications after pilot scale studies.


Following extensive lab-scale investigations and several thorough tests, a Go decision was made for four products to proceed to pilot testing which are to lead to the development of mature products in the final period of the project:

 development of new rhenium products with hydrometallurgical methods from residuals of the processing of Polish copper ores by IMN and Ecoren,

 production of pure nanosilica from olivine under moderate temperature and low-pressure conditions by SELOR for use in high-strength concretes,

 the same nanosilica has been tested also for the purpose of coating special jet ink paper by the State Technical Research Centre in Finland. KWH-Mirka will test the jet ink paper in a pilot for abrasives,

production of schwertmannite-based pigment from Fe-rich mine waters by GEOS where testing by WOLA identified Nochten-Red to be ideally suited to produce anticorrosive primer coats.