Yxsjöberg mine in Ljusnarsberg Municipality in Västmanland (Örebro). Image source: Wikimedia Commons. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

The hunt for tungsten

Published: 9 March 2016

Now, over a century old mining waste will be explored both to extract rare and inaccessible metals, but also to stabilize and clean the waste for a better environment. Innovative technology and site-specific extraction processes should be identified and developed in the project REminE.

–  In Sweden, we will examine mining waste in Yxsjöberg, located in Örebro, where the ore was discovered in 1726 and mining was discontinued in 1989. In Yxsjöberg mined copper and later the metal tungsten is used, among other things, for Carbide tools, says Olof Martinsson, researcher in ore geology at Luleå University of Technology.

Mineral with tungsten from Yxsjöberg Photo: Lina Hällström
Mineral with tungsten from Yxsjöberg Photo: Lina Hällström

Professor Jan Rosenkranz, mineral processing, and Professor Åke Sandström, hydrometallurgy, shall identify and develop innovative and site-specific extraction processes. Involved in the project are also AB Yxsjö Mines landowners of the former mining area.

The project REminE - Improve Resource Efficiency and Minimize Environmental Footprint - is interdisciplinary and cooperation between the three countries; Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, the University of Porto in Portugal, and R & D National Institute for Metals and Radioactive Resources in Romania. At Luleå University includes research subjects Applied Geochemistry, Ore Geology, Mineral Processing and Process Metallurgy. Tasman Minerals AB and Yxsjö Mines AB are also involved in this project financed by Vinnova and Eramin.

The study sites in Romania provide two different types of tailings, The Sasca Montana tailings and The Sasar tailings.

in Portugal, The Panasqueira Mine opened in1898 andf was exploited for wolframite, cassiterite and chalcopyrite (W,Sn Cu), the latter two as by-products. Until 1912 the mining scale was very small, but increased until 1928 and finally became a large exploitation.

Lina Hällström

Hällström, Lina - PhD Student position

Organisation: Applied Geochemistry, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493543
Room: F835A - Luleå»
Lena Alakangas

Alakangas, Lena - Professor

Organisation: Applied Geochemistry, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491396
Room: F845 - Luleå»
Jan Rosenkranz

Rosenkranz, Jan - Head of Subject, Chaired Professor

Organisation: Mineral Processing, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492183
Room: F1416 - Luleå»
Olof Martinsson

Martinsson, Olof - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493669
Room: F839 - Luleå»

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