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Mineral Economy


The VTT Mineral Economy innovation programme develops technological innovation for a profitable circular economy. The key outcome of the programme is to turn innovations of the mineral-based materials into new business and jobs for Finland and Europe. The programme is co-operating with the EIP Raw Materials, PROMETIA (Mineral Processing and Extractive metallurgy for mining and recycling innovation association) and the European Union EIT Raw Materials knowledge and innovation community.

Main targets for 2016

  • We turn the Mineral Economy even more circular thinking towards Circular Economy, with intelligent raw material solutions - eyes open for future technologies
  • We develop multi-technology competences enabling new innovations– e.g. hydrometallurgy + powder metallurgy + life cycle assessment + business models and foresight together
  • We aim sustainable design for closing the loop with material efficient and low energy solutions: valuable element recovery, residue utilization, critical raw materials (CRM) substitution, 3 D manufacturing (powder based materials), remanufacturing, reuse and recycling, we develop new solutions from secondary raw materials (out of waste). Our solutions include digital materials and processes (the systemic modelling factory approach), new business models of programme circular economy innovations and foresight of mineral based materials.

Examples of the projects:

  • METGROW PLUS - Metal Recovery from Low Grade Ores and Wastes Plus
  • CERATAIL - Novel synthesis methods for advanced porous ceramics from mine tailings
  • New Innonet - The NEW_InnoNet project funded by the EU Programme Horizon 2020 is an initiative to establish a European platform for stakeholders aiming to show how the concept of the circular economy can be enhanced and stimulated through: reduction or elimination of waste, fostering systemic eco-innovation, generating new business opportunities.
  • CRM Innonet - CRM_InnoNet will drive networking, policy and innovation in the field of substitution of critical raw materials.
  • RESLAG - Turning waste from the steel industry into a valuable low cost feedstock for energy intensive industry
  • MSP-REFRAM - Multi-Stakeholder platform for a Secure Supply of Refractory Metals in Europe
  • ARVI - Material Value Chains programme creates an innovation platform, based on which the Finnish material recovery industry may extend their businesses and improve its competitive positioning in the global markets