Prof. Jens Gutzmer
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4400

Prof. Markus Reuter

Phone: +49 351 260 - 4411
Phone: +49 160 94929014

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

Christian Christesen
Assistant to the Directors
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4402

Manuela Wagner
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4401

Media Contact

Anja Weigl
Phone: +49 351 260 - 4427

Office hours: Mon-Wed, Fri, 9am-2pm


Raw material ‘criticality’—sense or nonsense?

M Frenzel, J Kullik, MA Reuter, J Gutzmer; Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 50 (12), 123002

Fairphone's Report on Recyclability

based on a study by A v Schaik and MA Reuter (2017)

We recommend

Funded by


In the Focus of Research

Foto: Separating non-valuable rock from the ore at the earliest possible stage minimizes costs and rubble in further processing of raw materials. (ref) ©Copyright: TUBAF / Detlev Müller

Sustainable Processing of Rare Earths (REE Nam Xe)

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology and the UVR-FIA GmbH are developing a new strategy for processing the Vietnamese “Nam Xe” rare earth ore deposits in an environmentally friendly and economical manner. Optical sensors are to be employed in this endeavor.
Foto: Mikroskopische Aufnahme eines Komplexerzes. Es besteht aus Wertmineralen wie Sulfiden (schwarz), Kassiterit (braun) oder Fluorit (beige), die die wirtschaftlich relevanten Elementen Indium, Kupfer, Eisen, Zinn oder Fluor enthalten können. (Ref) ©Copyright: HZDR

New Strategies for the Processing of Complex Ores (AFK)

AFK aims at developing technical solutions for processing the different value minerals in complex ores simultaneously in an economic, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way. In order to achieve this, new methods have to be developed, already existing ones have to be enhanced and the entire process chain from the crushing of the ore through to the production of a marketable mineral concentrate must be optimized.
Foto: Geologe Matthias Bauer (TUBAF) untersucht Gesteine im Besucherberkwerk Pöhla ©Copyright: Tina Schulz

Resource Potential of Hydrothermal Deposits in the Variscan Belt (ResErVar)

Developing extensive models of the geological formation and distribution of mineral deposits, the HIF and its project partners aim to reassess raw materials potential here in Germany. The results will also serve as the foundation for the investigation of other raw material deposits. Additionally, the partners plan on establishing a graduate school to fos­ter junior scientists in geoscience.
Foto: Viele Hightech-Produkte wie Mikroprozessoren sind ohne Seltene Erden undenkbar. ©Copyright: Flickr / Tom Hoyle (

Molecular Containers for Extracting Rare Earths (SE-FLECX)

Under the coordination of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology experts from research and industry are testing if so-called calixarenes could be used as an alternative extraction agent in the industrial se­paration of rare earths. The organic macro molecules are expected to simplify the enrichment of these metals and significantly decrease the use of process chemicals.
Foto: GERRI ref. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Taufrisch

German Resource Research Institute (GERRI)

GERRI is a cooperation between the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, RWTH Aachen, TU Clausthal and the Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS. It aims at gathering all national competencies, infrastructures, and strategies on raw materials in one virtual institute and at creating compatibility amongst them.
Foto: BGR Helicopter ©Copyright: BGR/ Bernhard Siemon

Geophysical Exploration of Mineral Resources in the Erzgebirge

Testing and developing modern techniques for the delineation of mineral resources to depths reaching 500 meters is the main task of this project. Scientists combine geological data with airborne geophysical measurements. Current exploration focuses on an area of approximately 100 square kilometers around the city of Geyer in the Erzgebirge, a low mountain range located in Eastern Germany. The ­information will ultimately be included in a high resolution, three-dimensional geological model.
Foto: In Mobiltelefonen und anderen Hightech-Produkten stecken viele wichtige metallhaltige Rohstoffe. In der BMBF-Fördermaßnahme r3 „Innovative Technologien für Ressourceneffizienz – Strategische Metalle und Mineralien“ erforschen Wissenschaftler Wege, um die Rohstoffeffizienz zu steigern. ©Copyright: Buero Quer


The funding measure "r³ - Strategic Metals and Minerals" is part of the BMBF framework program FONA - Research for Sustainable Development, which includes more than 25 collaborative research projects in Germany co­vering the research fields of recycling, raw material efficiency, substitution, urban mining and sustainability impact assessment. Emphasis is placed on the development of innovative ­techno­logies for resource efficiency with particular regard to economic, environmental and social aspects.
Foto: Probematerial aus sächsischen Bergbauhalden, Foto: VNG/ Detlev Müller ©Copyright: VNG/ Detlev Müller

Raw Materials from Mining Residues

Experts are looking into how the valuable resources found in old tailing dams may be extracted in an economical and environmentally-friendly way. This would also help minimize the environmental risk inherent in the tailings, which contain high amounts of heavy metals. The ultimate goal is to come up with a reference method for extracting strategically important raw materials from residues of historic mining and beneficiation industries.