This unique research hub has a vision – to contribute to the sustainable development of the mining industry – and our 20 or so professors form a critical mass unmatched by any other European university. Their combined areas of expertise, coupled with an intensive partnership between academia and industry, generates unique synergies. And synergies are needed if we are to ensure the future of the mining industry. The growing field of geometallurgy, in which geologists, metallurgists, and mining engineers work together to improve our understanding of the raw material and thereby create smarter processes is just one example of this synergistic approach.
LTU conducts research along the entire spectrum of the mining sector, from exploration work that seeks to identify new deposits and actual mining work, to metallurgy and environmental issues, work environment and safety concerns, raw material economics, and the social aspects of extraction and refining. There is a real need for the development of more efficient exploration and mining methods as the mining industry faces up to new challenges in the form of deposits at greater depths and in extreme environments. Other items on the agenda include improving recovery levels in production, reducing the operations’ environmental impact, and further enhancing safety levels.
Or as Pär Weihed, who is a Professor of Ore Geology at LTU, puts it, “Quite simply, we need to get better at everything we do. The global need for minerals is growing and we know that it will continue to do so. So there’s no doubt that our future includes mines, but the question is, where will they be? And how can they be profitable, sustainable and safe?”
LTU is a European leader when it comes to innovation and education in the mining sector and is one of six European centers responsible for the EU’s biggest investment in raw materials to date: EIT RawMaterials.