Case Study 4: COMAN Process for Secondary Sources (Co-Mn-Cu) Exploitation

VTT Team

The partners from VTT are responsible for developing the hydrometallurgical part of the COMAN demonstration. @VTT

Case Study 4 is about the COMAN process, which aims to recover cobalt (Co), copper (Cu) and manganese (Mn) from mining wastes (secondary resources) from an old mining operation plant at Tharsis, Spain. The demonstration is divided into two parts: THARSIS Mining will be responsible for the pre-treatment whereas the Finnish research institution VTT will be in charge of developing the hydrometallurgical part.

Tharsis Mining

Recovering valuable metals (e.g. cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu)) from mining waste generated at the former Tharsis mine will increase the European production of critical raw materials. This will contribute to reducing the EU's dependence on imports. THARSIS Mining will contribute on the characterization of the mining waste. Moreover, the construction and commission of the pre-treatment stage of the COMAN process pilot plant will be accomplished as well as the valorisation of residue streams obtained in the VTT hydrometallurgical operation.


The concentrates obtained at pilot-scale after the pre-treatment will be sent to VTT facilities. VTT will use existing equipment to assemble a pilot plant and validate the hydrometallurgical part of the process with the concentrates that leads to the selective precipitation of cobalt (Co), manganense (Mn) and copper (Cu) (in sulphide or hydroxide form).