Profound understanding of raw materials’ characteristics is essential for process and resource efficiency in the mining as well as in the recycling sector.

Materials characterisation has become a powerful tool for the acquisition of quantitative data and is already applied along the entire raw materials value chain, from the exploration of new deposits to their rehabilitation. The newly established company ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH provides analytical services for the primary as well as secondary resource industry. The team of scientists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) – make state-of-the-art infrastructure and analytical competence available for the industry.

ERZLABOR’s analytical services are applicable throughout the entire raw materials value chain, from exploration to recycling. The services offer numerous advantages, such as the reduction of materials losses and the prediction of environmental impacts. The costumers benefit from an increase in resource and energy efficiency, a reduction of production costs and of technical risk. As a spin-off of the HIF, the company complements to the activities of the institute commercialising under licence innovations in the field of raw materials characterisation. ERZLABOR offers both Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA) and Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by Scanning Electron Microscopy (QEMSCAN), both techniques are based on image analysis. The managing directors Petya Atanasova and Dr Dirk Sandmann both have strong scientific background. The state-certified engineer Andreas Bartzsch is responsible for the sample preparation. The HZDR Innovation GmbH is a shareholder of the company.

“There is a great demand for accurate materials characterisation not only in Germany but also in Europe. With the greater emphasis on sustainability in the primary as well as in the secondary raw materials sector, high-quality analytics plays an increasingly important role.”

Petya Atanasova

More efficient use of raw materials

The specialists at ERZLABOR are not only able to perform comprehensive and quantitative analyses of samples but they are also able to search and identify specific minerals, metals or other solid phases that are present only in trace amounts. The results help mining companies to evaluate a new site or to increase the recovery of ore minerals from an existing deposit. Similarly, recycling companies can benefit in their effort to recover raw materials from waste and residues. At present, the industry is still heavily reliant on conventional methods which often provide less information than is needed to optimize resource and energy efficiency. ERZLABOR, on the other hand, can accurately determine a wide range of parameters for any solid material, such as the abundance of minerals and their distribution or the size and shape of particles, parameters that are important for beneficiation.

“The use of modern analytical tools pays dividends in terms of the improved risk management that comes from reducing technical uncertainty in projects.”

Petya Atanasova

ERZLABOR currently has clients operating in mining and in construction of mineral processing plants. The company analyzes solid as well as granular materials such as rocks, ores, processing products, tailings, recycling and building materials as well as industrial products.

Read the full press release here.

Further information

Petya Atanasova, Managing Director at ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH

About Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) conducts research in the sectors energy, health, and matter. HZDR provides a unique infrastructure that attracts visiting researchers from all over the world: Ion Beam Center, Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory and ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources. The HZDR with its five locations (Dresden, Freiberg, Grenoble, Leipzig, and Schenefeld near Hamburg) is a member of the Helmholtz Association and employs about 1,100 people – approximately 500 of whom are scientists, including 150 doctoral candidates.

About Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF)

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) pursues the objective of developing innovative technologies for the economy so that mineral and metalliferous raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. The HIF was founded in 2011, belongs to Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and is cooperating closely with TU Bergakademie Freiberg.