Project duration: 1 April 2017 – 31 December 2019 


The project will assess the technical and economic feasibility study of a new process aimed at maximizing the water recovery from the aqueous effluents of a Copper Smelter. The new process will enable an optimal use of Raw Materials within Europe and will contribute to the current EU strategy on Circular Economy.

The solution (technology)

The goal of RED_SCOPE is to enable the treatment of complex copper concentrates, which is aligned to the knowledge & innovation theme of increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes. This means the development of a flexible economic treatment of complex materials, thereby addressing the issue of removing the increasing amount of impurities and enabling greater reuse of process residues (recycling treated wastewater).

The project will improve the industrial competitiveness of copper smelters. The project actively contributes to achieving this impact because if improved wastewater treatment is implemented, it will make it possible to smelt complex copper and comply with the environmental limits on the discharge of concentrates. Also, the RED_SCOPE process reduces water and energy consumption (compared to conventional technologies), improves resource efficiency and reduces water management costs. Considering the new wastewater treatment plant as a new production unit, RED_SCOPE closes the material cycle for the water resource and strengthens the impact because it channels all effluent flows for treatment.

Expected results:

  • Optimized Reverse Osmosis design to maximize water recovery and minimize brine generation
  • Analysis of the BAT (Best available Technics) to treat the brine and to incorporate the near ZLD process (Zero Liquid Discharge), generating an inert solid residue
  • Economic viability


  • Atlantic Copper, Spain (Lead Partner)
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institut, Sweden
  • Suez Environment Company, France
  • Aquatec, Proyectos para el Sector del Agua, S.A.U, Spain
  • Cetaqua, Centro Tecnológico del Agua, Fundación Privada, Spain

The project consists of the technical feasibility assessment of the phase II.