Incorporating seabed minerals with existing processing operations. Developing technology to extract metals from sulfides. Our focus includes reducing waste and ensuring alternative uses for by-products.

Sustainable Mineral Processing

Processing seabed minerals requires innovative approaches to integrate these resources into existing processing facilities, including those in the battery value chain. We develop and test pre-processing recovery methods to ensure that our extraction methods, based on thorough characterization and analysis, consider the environmental footprint. The unique physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties of marine minerals necessitate tailored processing methods that differ significantly from those used for land-based resources.

Our development of smart, sustainable beneficiation schemes aims to recover valuable materials from seafloor massive sulfides at maximum levels while addressing the byproducts and wastes generated from each processing stream. This involves crushing and grinding to achieve the liberation size of seafloor massive sulfides and concentrating valuables through advanced beneficiation techniques. These techniques ensure good separation with high-grade outputs for specific applications, enhancing process efficiency and recoveries.

We conceptualize the integration of various operational activities to handle large volumes of mined raw materials, transport them to beneficiation sites, and produce the right products through various processing steps. This also includes identifying beneficiation limitations and addressing stringent environmental regulations. By locating separation sites on the seabed or onshore, we ensure the right equipment selection for all processing steps. Additionally, we identify alternative uses for excess material to reduce deposition needs and establish a zero-waste process.

Our assessments and optimizations are conducted at laboratory scale with pilot-scale demonstrations at the Future Materials Catapult Centre. Collaboration with industry partners and research institutions is essential to our processing initiatives. These partnerships enable us to stay at the cutting edge of technological advancements and apply best practices across our operations. Our goal is to establish a model for sustainable mineral processing that can be adopted globally, supporting the transition to a green economy.