Dr. Jens Gutzmer (PhD ZA)
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4400

Dr. Simone Raatz
Stakeholder Engagement and Strategy
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4747

Anne-Kristin Jentzsch
Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4429

Renate Seidel
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4430
Fax: +49 351 260 - 4440


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Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) pursues the objective of developing innovative technologies for the economy so that mineral and metalliferous raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

HIF was set up in 2011 by the German government as part of its national strategy for raw materials. It is a constituent part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and works in close collaboration with TU Bergakademie Freiberg. HIF is a core member of the European EIT RawMaterials network, having played a decisive role in its establishment.

The institute belongs to the Energy Efficiency, Materials, and Resources Program of the Helmholtz Association and to the Resource Technology Topic, respectively.

HIF logo eng. blue aside ©Copyright: HZDR

Latest News

Foto: BHP Tailings Challenge ©Copyright: HZDR

Success for recomine network at BHP Tailings Challenge

Approach of processing steps for flotation tailings and process water reaches proof of concept stage within the challenge
Foto: Waldemar Lindgren Award Mathias Burisch HIF ©Copyright: HZDR

Waldemar-Lindgren-Award for Mathias Burisch

Dr. Mathias Burisch has received the internationally renowned Waldemar-Lindgren-Award from the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) for his deposit research.
Foto: A: Fixed-wing system for the rapid acquisition of photogrammetric data as basis for digital surface models. B: Multi-rotor system for hyperspectral imaging ©Copyright: HZDR/ René Booysen

Searching for traces with drones: Novel approach for the exploration of Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Elements (REE) are essential resources to ensure the energy transition, e-mobility and future ­techno­logies. The use of lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) provides a unique opportunity to conduct rapid and non-invasive exploration for REE even in ecologically sensitive areas and in relatively inaccessible locations. For the first time scientists from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have directly identified and mapped REEs in both arid and subarctic environments using UAV-based hyperspectral data. They have now published their novel detection method in Nature Scientific Reports (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-74422-0).

The Circular Economy: Efficient Use of Valuable Resources

From the copper cables to the lithium batteries, metal and mineral raw materials play a vital role in our everyday lives. The demand for these resources in terms of quantity and diversity is increasing, especially for use in renewable energy, electromobility, communications and other advanced technologies. At the same time, however, ensuring their continued availability poses a growing number of global challenges, as mineable deposits tend to be located in inhospitable areas or at great depths, while the ores themselves have low metal content and are often fine-grained and complex in structure.

How can supplies be secured in the long term? An important contribution to the more efficient use of resources can be made by recycling (known as the Circular Economy) and by minimizing loss from the system.

The HIF research team has been drawn from multiple scientific disciplines and has been gathered together under a single roof to look into such issues as the exploration, processing, metallurgy and recycling of mineral resources. By precisely analyzing the properties of raw materials and the valuable substances they contain as well as by means of computer simulation, it is possible to quantify the material and energy efficiency of processes along the value chain and to identify new solutions for the socially responsible and commercially viable use of raw materials.

Our contribution to Circular Economy ©Copyright: HZDR (Please click to enlarge)Our Mission

We are a key enabler for a sustainable circular economy of minerals and metals.

We achieve this by:

  • creating and providing fundamental understanding;
  • developing innovative technologies and systems;
  • quantifying possibilities and limits of the circular economy;
  • developing new solutions in collaboration with society, stakeholders and decision makers.

How to Find Us

Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology
Chemnitzer Str. 40, 09599 Freiberg, Germany

Location Map HIF ©Copyright: HZDR
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