Overall aim of the project is the improvement of the mineral processing value chain. This shall be achieved by pursuing the following five main objectives of EcoMetals:

  • Development of alternative mineral processing and metal production methods including biohydrometallurgy methods from laboratory to pilot scale

  • Demonstrating the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of processes focusing on Cu-bearing ore types containing associated metals (Ag, Co, Ni, Ga, …)

  • Demonstrating the potential of bioprocesses for treatment of mineral processing wastes from copper mining industry

  • Tackling some key associated scientific challenges (e.g. energy/water consumption efficiency)

  • Development of new Life Cycle Assessment and sustainability tools

Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie

Halsbrücker Str. 34
09599 Freiberg, Germany


BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières

avenue Claude Guillemin, BP 36009
45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France


EcoMetals is a transnational research project aiming at the development of innovative biohydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of copper and other (associated) metals from coppershale.. The project receives funding from the French ANR (L’Agence nationale de la recherche) and the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) under the reference number 033RF001.

In total, 17 partners from science and industry collaborate in this project. Start of the project was in February 2014 and it will run until June 2017. 

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