Today, Europe imports many of the mineral resources needed to produce everything from mobile phones, renewable energy, and modern defence equipment from, among other places, Asia. In the coming decades, it is expected that the need for minerals will increase heavily. In Europe, small and medium-sized mines account for more than half of the value added.

"These mines play a decisive role for Europe to become more independent of imports and more competitive in terms of sustainability – both economically and environmentally, but also socially, through responsible mining practices," says senior engineer at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Sean Salazar who will lead this 3.5-year project.

Sean Salazar and Mahdi Shabanimashcool 2000x1100

NGI's Sean Salazar (left) will lead DINAMINE and Mahdi Shabanimashcool is responsible for the project's technical concept. Photo: NGI.

DINAMINE, which stands for "Digital and Innovative MINE of the future", is an Innovation Action that was recently granted under Horizon Europe, the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation. DINAMINE will develop an innovative and holistic mine management system that aims to change and modernize the industry.

"The keyword to bring about this paradigm shift is digitalization. With DINAMINE, we want to demonstrate how we can build a more sustainable industry through innovative solutions," states NGI's senior engineer Mahdi Shabanimashcool, who is responsible for the project's technical concept.

11 European project partners

In the next 3.5 years, NGI will lead the 12.3 million Euro project. The high-level, industry-driven multidisciplinary consortium is comprised of partners from Norway, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, and the Netherlands. New technologies to be developed and demonstrated include:

  • A smart database system for real-time integration of various types of information such as geological and geophysical data, mineral resources, geomechanics, mineral processing data, tailing and environmental data. The data system will be utilised in combination with the economical and practical factors for holistic mine planning, monitoring, and managing.
  • A machine vision-based technology for improving rock engineering-related activities such as rock mass mapping, optimising rock blasting, and suggesting relevant stabilising measures. This will be achieved by incorporating the technology in a semi-autonomous jumbo drill.
  • Real-time geomechanical monitoring technology for underground openings and open pits.

Besides having the role of project coordinator, NGI is responsible for developing major parts of the above-mentioned technologies. This development work will be led by Salazar (consortium lead) and Shabanimashcool (technical lead) and will involve multiple scientists with technical disciplines from across NGI.

The technology that will be developed will be tested at two demonstration sites in Norway and Portugal, under the auspices of Norwegian Skaland Graphite and Portuguese Felmica Minerais Industriais, respectively. The test sites have been selected to be representative of European regions, raw materials, and value chains.
 

Project partners DINAMINE

 
DINAMINE PROJECT PARTNERS:

Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (Norway)
Skaland Graphite AS (Norway)
Felmica Minerais Industriais SA (Portugal)
Worldsensing SL (Spain)
SINTEF Nord AS (Norway)
SINTEF AS (Norway)
SINTEF Helgeland AS (Norway)
National Institute of Chemistry (Slovenia)
AMV AS (Norway)
Ciaotech Srl (Italy)
SPECTRAL Industries BV (Netherlands)


NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute) is an independent international centre for research and consultancy in engineering-related geosciences, integrating geotechnical, geological and geophysical expertise.