Meet the Partners: Cobre Las Cruces
27 July, 2023
What are your main tasks in the project?
Cobre Las Cruces’ (CLC) main tasks in METALLICO project is related to the TAILCO process which is devoted to recover cobalt from copper hydrometallurgical industry tailings treatment in a suitable way to produce a commercial product.
Therefore, CLC will develop a lab fine-tuning and an intermediate scale validation for TAILCO using 30-liter-reactors. In addition, CLC will cooperate in the TAILCO pilot plant engineering and will give support during the design phase of the digital twin tool. CLC will assemble, construct and operate a pilot plant in their facilities to treat secondary resources and will physicochemical and mineralogical characterize the obtained products to assure the end-users’ specifications.
What are your next steps in the project?
For the next months, CLC will continue working in TAILCO process, for example in its intermediate scale validation at the laboratory, mainly focused on iron removal solid-liquid separation processes and preliminary tests on cobalt precipitation. In addition, CLC will help during the pilot plant engineering and digital tools design. After that, CLC will start working on the TAILCO pilot plant construction and its subsequent operation.
CLC will also collaborate in the PURGES process upscale development which is devoted to valorise polymetallurgical refinery (PMR) wastes. In this case, CLC will provide any necessary information from boundary conditions within the process and the future PMR Plant.
Why do you think METALLICO is important for the general public?
The METALLICO project includes real case studies in the European Union (EU) to recover critical raw materials (CRM) as lithium and cobalt through some new processe development which will be demonstrated in this project for assessing its potential.
Lithium and cobalt are included as CRM listed by the EU, and both are essential metals for the battery sector. Their use is highly increasing nowadays. Currently, in Europe, we depend on external supply of lithium and cobalt, and this poses an important risk associated to geopolitical and economic challenge. In this way, METTALICO is an opportunity for Europe to decrease dependency on external markets and promote self-supply of battery metals.