The Viable Alternative Mining Operating System (¡VAMOS!), a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, has passed a major milestone with the successful delivery of conceptual design plans of the prototype and all associated equipment.
This work was carried out in Work Package 2 (WP2), which also designed the system’s architecture and its functional specifications.
According to Frank Bosman, Manager Research Development & Innovation at Damen Dredging Equipment, based in Nijkerk, the conclusion of WP2 demonstrated that the partnership behind the project was functioning well.
“WP2 went very smoothly. There was good cooperation between all partners, ensuring that everything went to schedule and all documentation was submitted to the EU on time. We are now looking forward to Work Package 3 with optimism.”
In WP3 the partners will initially be detailing the system components further, and will focus on verifying and validating the design. “We will look into the elements supplied by the various partners in order to ensure commonality so each piece can be integrated into the whole,” explained Mr Bosman.
Stef Kapusniak, SMD’s Business Development Manager and Technical Manager of the project added that there are also some operational issues to be verified at the test locations. ¡VAMOS! will test the equipment on four existing mine sites across Europe within the next 2 years to prove the new submerged inland mining concept.
Currently, the EU consumes around 25-35% of the world’s metal production, whilst EU-based mineral extraction accounts for just 3% of global ore production. This situation leads to the EU’s importation of around 200 million tonnes of minerals per year.
Featuring a total of 17 partners from 9 EU countries, ¡VAMOS! seeks to address this situation by making possible the extraction of European mineral deposits from inland water-bearing areas. To reach this aim, the partners are developing an innovative system whereby a remotely operated mining vehicle is launched from a waterborne carriage.
Damen Dredging Equipment, the dredging tools specialist within the Damen Shipyards Group, as one of the 17 ¡VAMOS! partners, has the responsibility of developing and supplying the slurry circuitry components and the launch and recovery system for the mining vehicle.