Head of Research Programme: Chief Scientist Tommi Kauppila
The eco-efficient mining research programme focuses on developing environmentally friendly and resource efficient ore concentration methods, promoting utilization and recycling of wastes and by-products from the minerals industry, and developing geoscientific approaches to environmental issues in mining. The programme marshals the diverse mineralogical and chemical research competences of GTK’s Mineral Processing Laboratory in Outokumpu and the joint Finnish Isotope Geology Laboratory hosted by GTK in Espoo. Research topics include study of eco-efficient concentration methods e.g. bioleaching, processing of mining by-products, recycling technologies, applied mineralogy, isotope detection geared to environmental studies, studying the long term impacts and environmental properties of mining wastes, geochemical and contaminant transport modeling at mine sites, and environmental risk assessment methodologies for mining. While the research serves the needs of the mining and minerals industries, processing equipment manufacturers, scientists and policy-makers, it also has wider benefits to society through improved concentration and recycling methods, higher energy efficiency and lower environmental loading. Programme participants network extensively both in-house (e.g. groundwater, aggregates and mineral potential programmes) and with their counterparts in universities and research organizations around the world as well as clients in the mining, minerals and environmental sectors.