Project duration: 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022


High economic investments into the import of raw materials which are significant for further industrial utilization increase the importance of local sources, which after proper technical adjustments can represent an environmental and financially attractive alternative. However, their lower quality and lack of technologies improving their industrial value prefer serious financial investments into the import of higher quality materials. These materials include metallic raw materials (mRMs) – extremely important sources of CRM, REE and metals, but also non-metallic raw materials (nRMs) widely used in several industrial sections such as paper, ceramic, glass, chemical industry and agriculture.

The solution (technology)

The first aim of the project is to create an impact on the local ecosystem by and along the development and improvement of the technology and especially by engaging the relevant local players. Technology will be applied to local deposits to obtain RMs appropriate for industrial utilisation. While currently used technologies are very expensive and environmentally not acceptable, low cost and ecological method of bioleaching are suggested. Bioleaching is an alternative way of improving deposits via the activity of bacteria, which induce changes of chemical and structural features of rocks and minerals. The challenge of the project is to configure and improve this effective, economical and innovative method for specific local sources. The second aim is related to greater utilisation of local sources. Effective bacteria can be used industrially for treatment of mRMs to extract CRM, REE and metals, but also for treatment of nRMs, whose commercial value is decreased by impurities limiting the area of their application. Therefore the further aim of this project is to test and evaluate local minerals as new potential sources, whose increased industrial value was obtained by bioleaching.


  • Technical University of Košice, Slovakia (Lead Partner)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Italy
  • Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research, Hungary
  • Caobar, S.A., Spain
  • ekolive s.r.o., Slovakia
  • G.U.B. Ingenieur AG, Germany
  • Gomez Pardo Foundation, Spain
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (HZDR), Germany
  • Najpi a.s., Slovakia
  • Politechnika Wroclawska, Poland
  • Sifucel – Sílicas, S.A., Portugal
  • Trinity Dublin College, Ireland
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid,  Spain
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa – Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA), Portugal
  • Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca, Italy
  • Zeocem, a.s., Slovakia