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Asarel-Medet JSC implements technologies of the future under the international X-Mine project

  Asarel-Medet is the only Bulgarian company which forms part of the large-scale research  X-Mine project coordinated by VTT, Technical Research Center in Finland.  The international innovation consortium unites scientific institutes, equipment manufacturers and mining companies from various European countries. The X-Mine develops new geological exploration sensor technologies and implements digital applications for deposit modeling and more efficient ore processing.


  “These are the technologies of future and we are among the first European countries in which they undergo a pilot implementation.  Since this year, we use a sensor scanner for drill cores from specialized geological exploration, automated mineral sorting equipment and a new specialized software for result assessment and analysis.   This improves ore mining and processing efficiency and has a favorable environmental protection impact”, Desislav Ivanov and Stanislava Milusheva who are part of the Mine Engineering department team at Asarel-Medet comment its advantages.


  The new sensor technologies are based on X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray transmission (XRT) and 3D visualization technologies. All of them are incorporated to mineral sorting equipment as well as ore deposit modeling and mining operations planning software systems.   Project equipment underwent its pilot implementation in two mining companies in Swefen abd Greece in 2018 and this year this occurred in Cyprus and Bulgaria where the partner is Asarel-Medet. Thanks to X-Mine, the mining companies are anticipated to achieve up to 20% reduction of their transportation costs, 7% reduction of handled waste, from 10 to 30% lower power consumption and carbon emissions reduction. The schedules envision that the products would be commercialized within two years after the project completion when other companies will have access to these technologies as well.


The X-Mine research project has a total budget of 12 million Euro and it is funded under Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.  It is believed that in a long-term plan the new methods will revolutionize the exploration and characterization of existing and new deposits since they will optimize the entire value chain of mining operations.  By applying them, the mineral grain size, their distribution and the entire structural, geological, geochemical and mineralogical information will become known even at the geological exploration stage.  Thus, mining will not only become more efficient, but the environmental impact will also be reduced.  One of its significant advantages is that less mining waste will be generated and mining locations will be more accurately selected. Simultaneously, the consumed electric power, transportation costs and carbon emissions will be reduced as the researchers summarize.  The X-Mine project will make the development of smaller and complex deposits feasible from economic perspective and will potentially increase the European mineral resources. High environmental protection and mining sustainable development standards are set in it as well.