PRESS RELEASE: Maxam, a global technology company specialised in blasting solutions for mining, quarrying and public works, hosted the biannual meeting of the European SLIM project at its facilities in Galdácano, Spain.
This initiative, which forms part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme, seeks to develop new sustainable mining solutions with a low environmental impact. Representatives of the 13 companies and institutions taking part in the project presented the main advances reached in the first half of the year in the different lines of work.
The SLIM (Sustainable Low Impact Mining) project seeks to develop a cost-effective and sustainable solution for the mining of small mineral deposits. To do so, work is being carried out to develop a new generation of explosives and advanced blast design software based on improved rock mass characterisation and fragmentation models.
This new mining solution will enable the feasible exploitation of mineral deposits that are not currently viable due to their small size and the corresponding high environmental impact. This will increase the supply of these European-mined raw materials, which is especially relevant in the current context in which some deposits have become exhausted and certain minerals have increased in price.
Maxam leads the working group whose mission it is to develop explosive and pumping equipment that enables the blast characteristics to be adapted on-site to suit the varying rock conditions. Furthermore, the company is working on an additional module for Rioblast, its blast design software, to incorporate the characteristics of the new explosive.
The technologies developed for SLIM will be validated in two mines in Spain and one in Austria in order to ensure their technical superiority compared to the options currently available, as well as their ability to be integrated into mining activities.
The environmental, social and economic impacts of the mining projects are also being studied as part of the SLIM project, and in addition to the technical solution that is developed. To do so, one of its lines of work involves selecting five European cities that coexist with operations of this kind to interview their inhabitants and to identify the social benefits deriving from the mining activity.
SLIM is led by the Technical University of Madrid and made up of another 11 organisations and companies from Austria, Denmark, Sweden, France and Spain. These include 3GSM, Benito Arno e Hijos, Bureau de Recherches Géoloquiques et Minières, VA Erzberg, Gate2Growth, Luleå Tekniska Universitet, Minpol, Montan Universität Leoben, Minera de Órgiva, Technische Universitaet Graz and ZABALA Innovation Consulting.