UNEXMIN at the European Raw Materials Week 2017

The Raw Materials Week, a recent European event dealing with the challenges, problems and solutions on the raw materials sector, took place from the 6th to the 10th of November in Brussels.

The UNEXMIN project was represented on this European event through the organized poster session. This specific poster session had a collection of projects running through all Europe, including many Horizon2020 projects. The common denominator of the presented projects are the challenges faced in the raw materials sector and what each project is doing to solve the issue. UNEXMIN is contributing to deal with the raw materials bottlenecks (for example, the European dependence on the import of many mineral raw materials) by developing a robotic solution that can explore and map flooded mines, helping to gather new information on the raw materials availability throughtout Europe.

The first robotic prototype, UX-1, is being completed and the first field tests with the UNEXMIN developed technology will happen by mid-2018. In the next Raw Materials Week there will be something much more substancial to show from the UNEXMIN project… including a real, working robot!

UNEXMIN & ¡VAMOS! – joint conference, Slovenia, January 2018

UNEXMIN and ¡VAMOS! – two EU-funded projects – will be co-organizing a joint conference in January 2018. The most recent circular about the conference has been now launched!

The joint UNEXMIN-¡VAMOS! conference, entitled “Use of Robotics and automation for mineral prospecting and extraction” aims to bring together experts from minerals exploration and mining and from the robotics fields to discuss about the latest advances in the respective fields and rise synergies on innovation in mineral prospecting and extraction.

The one-day forum will start with an introductory plenary, followed by parallel sessions focused on presentations and further discussions about the projects. In the afternoon, workshops related to technology roadmapping and exploitation are envisaged, being part of UNEXMIN and ¡VAMOS! activities. The conference also ultimately aims to develop networking experiences and establishing new cooperation links between different partners and perspectives.

Overall agenda for the conference

All interested people from the fields of geology, mining, robotics, machinery, minerals industry representatives, mining and construction machinery manufacturers, robotics developers and manufacturers and policy and decision makers in the field of mineral exploration and extraction are invited to attend. This conference will be organized by the Geological Survey of Slovenia, partner in both UNEXMIN and ¡VAMOS! projects, in Bled, Slovenia, on the 30th of January 2018. Besides the core conference, it is also possible – and advisable! – to join a one day pre-conference field trip to the Idrija mercury mine – one of the test sites where the UX-1 robot will be tested.

For more information, please check the conference flyer.

Idrija Mercury Mine (Credit: Arne Hodalič)

Francis’ Shaft (Credit: Matej Peternelj)

Relevant data about the conference is also mentioned below:

Date and Venue
The conference will be held on 30 January 2018 in Hotel Kompas, Bled. Bled town is situated in an alpine landscape of the NW Slovenia and is a popular tourist destination. The town is 35 km from Ljubljana International Airport and 55 km from the capital city, Ljubljana.

Please register via email (manja.zebre[at]geo-zs.si) by 8 January 2018.
Required registration data:
Name and surname,
– Institution,
– Title of the presentation (optional),
– Up to 600-word (one page) abstract with one image (optional),
– Attendance to networking dinner,
– Possible special dietary requirements,
– Attendance to pre-conference field trip to Idrija.
Registration is free-of-charge. Individual invitations letters can be prepared if needed.

Important Dates
Registration deadline: 8 January 2018
Final conference program: 20 January 2018
Field trip to Idrija: 29 January 2018
Conference: 30 January 2018

Contact information
Local organisers:
Gorazd Žibret (general info),
Manja Žebre (registration), manja.zebre[at]geo-zs.si

UNEXMIN project coordinator:
Norbert Zajzon
, nzajzon[at]uni-miskolc.hu

iVAMOS! project coordinator and technical management:
Jenny Rainbird,
Stef Kapusniak, stef.kapusniak[at]smd.co.uk

More information
Second Circular

UNEXMIN at the GEC Geotechnik expo & congress in Offenburg, Germany

The GEC Geotechnik expo & congress can be considered as one of the largest European trade fairs in the field of geotechnics and related aspects. Several lecture series with high-level speakers such as the President of the German Geological Survey and large booth areas provided an inspiring environment for enthusiastic discussions and exchanges among geologists from Germany and other European countries. As a new official cooperation partner, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), who is a partner of the UNEXMIN project, attended this two-days long event, which is always supported by the Professional Association of German Geologists (BDG), for the first time.

Besides the presentation of the UNEXMIN project to a large geotechnics community, EFG Vice-President Michael Neumann and EFG Project Officer Peter Müller spread the word about the newly founded EFG Panel of Experts on Geotechnics.

Surrounded by geotechnical companies which range from rock consolidation technology over building foundation to air-borne drones, the UNEXMIN project was at the right place to gain much attendance at the EFG booth. Many discussions further proofed the relevance and the demand for this novel technology and will help to establish the anticipated spin-off company at the end of the project, that will offer the UNEXMIN technology to the market.

UNEXMIN at the Real-Time Mining Conference

Real-Time Mining kick-off

During the 10th and 11th of October, the UNEXMIN project was present in the Real-Time Mining conference, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. UNEXMIN was invited as one of the co-organizers of this conference, together with other three EU funded projects – ¡vamos!, SOLSA and Real-Time Mining – which provided a great opportunity to communicate the project, make contacts with stakeholders and establish valuable synergies for the future.

During the two days that the conference lasted, the present UNEXMIN partners made three presentations centered in the project: (1) an overview of UNEXMIN, (2) the development of the multispectral camera unit and (3) the development of the magnetic field unit.

The first presentation provided an overview of the project to the participants, focusing on the goals and impacts to be achieved and giving a view on the past, present and future developments in UNEXMIN, in particular regarding the development of the UX-1 robot. This presentation raised a lot of interest in the project, fact proven by the high amount of questions asked. The presentations about the multispectral and magnetic field units, more specific talks, related to the development of two of the most important scientific instruments for the robotic system, kept the interest on the project alive with even more questions. The engagement with the conference participants continued after the presentations, extending itself through the breaks.

The Real-Time Mining conference can be considered as a success for UNEXMIN: a lot of new interest was raised in the project; contacts and synergies have arisen with other projects and people; the conference participants praised the idea that the UNEXMIN consortium is trying to put on together and promised to have a closer look and follow the project in the future. These are all objectives of the UNEXMIN project and achieving them during a conference can only mean that is was a great success.

Right now, there is no autonomous underwater system capable of surveying and getting geological data from flooded mines and the UNEXMIN consortium is building the first to solve this major bottleneck. The first UX-1 prototype will be ready by mid-2018, in time for the Kaatiala trial in a real life environment! Be sure to follow the news!

UNEXMIN workshop at La Palma, Spain

On the 3rd and 4th of October, 2017, the UNEXMIN consortium got together in the island of La Palma, Spain, to discuss some very important aspects of the project. Among these there were discussions on the current development of the project, the near future steps and the way to go when the time to exploit the results come – making the novel UNEXMIN technology available to the market.

The first day started with the always necessary discussions related to the developments of the project: past, present and future were all analysed. After this groundwork, the consortium started a debate to make a plan on how to explore the UNEXMIN technology to the market once the project is over. The discussions around the future exploitation of the UNEXMIN project and its results extended to the second day of the meeting. To finalise this fruitful workshop, an early exploitation plan and course of action were successfully defined. This action will ensure the everyone is working towards the same objectives.

The discussions were partly held under a nice environment

The LPRC team, host of this UNEXMIN meeting in La Palma, actively participated in all the discussions giving some very useful input for the definition of the exploitation plan.

The consortium partners, who loved “La Isla Bonita”, as La Palma is known, will get back together in Bled, Slovenia, for a consortium meeting.

The UNEXMIN partners present in La Palma

See you all there!