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




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).
Foto: Froth Flotation Graphite ©Copyright: Anna Vanderbruggen

HIF and the sustainable research on materials for batteries

Mainly driven by E-mobility the demand on and the waste by batteries increases. Therefore, the development of efficient recycling ­techno­logies and the integration of reco­vered materials into battery cell production is necessary. The aim is to close material cycles.
Foto: European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) ©Copyright: ERMA

HIF is new member of the European Raw Material­s Alliance (ERMA)

The Helmholtz Institute for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is now a member of the European Raw Material­s Alliance (ERMA). ERMA was founded in September 2020 and aims to secure the supply of critical raw materials and advanced materials in order to strengthen the stability and competitiveness of Europe.
Foto: Awardees Anna Thielen and Dr.-Ing. Markus Buchmann with Prof. Fieback (Dean of Faculty of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering). ©Copyright: TU Bergakademie Freiberg / Ralf Ditscherlein

Heinrich-Schubert award for young scientist Markus Buchmann

B.Sc.-Student Anna Thielen and Dr.-Ing. Markus Buchmann have been awarded with the Heinrich-Schubert prize of the Faculty of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering of TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
Foto: Cover InSPECtor Movie ©Copyright: HZDR

Project InSPECtor finished

O­ver a period of three years, the InSPECtor project, funded by the EIT RawMaterial­s, developed an integrated spectroscopic sensor system for laser-induced fluorescence and hyperspectral imaging. The integrated sensor system is also beneficial to other partners in the EIT RawMaterial­s community, especially those involved in the exploration and evaluation of raw material resources.
Foto: SisAl Pilot Project Picture ©Copyright: SisAl Pilot

SisAl Pilot: A new EU Initiative in the Raw Material­s Field

The main objective of this 4-year project is to demonstrate a patented novel industrial process to produce silicon (Si, a critical raw material), enabling a shift from today’s process to a far more environmentally and economically alternative: in SisAl Pilot quartz in slag is reduced though aluminothermic reduction that utilizes secondary raw materials such as aluminium (Al) scrap and dross, as replacements for carbon reductants used today.
Foto: Research area for the Silver City Project ©Copyright: Excellon Resources

Excellon partners with HIF

Excellon Resources Inc. and HIF have come to an R&D agreement to team up in the Sil­ver City Project in Saxony, as announced in a press release from 9th June. Excellon will provide HIF with data and drill core samples through which HIF can test developing, cutting-edge exploration ­techno­logies in real time, including hyperspectral analysis of drill core.
Foto: HIF Metallurgie-Technikum Glasfassade (Ausschnitt) ©Copyright: PD Dr. Simone Raatz

The construction of the metallurgy pilot plant is progressing

A lot has happened at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) since the groundbreaking ceremony for the future metallurgy pilot plant in October 2018. After a little more than a year, the new 400 square ­meter glass facade of the plant reflects the blue spring sky. The outer shell of the technical center, which is right next to the institute building in the Chemnitzer Strasse, is now complete. In the upcoming days...
Foto: Christina Meskers, HIF ©Copyright: Tina Pereira

Experienced Innovation Manager joins Helmholtz Institute Freiberg

On March 3rd, Dr Christina Meskers commenced her appointment as a senior research fellow in the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), an institute of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). With her experience as former Senior Innovation Manager at Umicore a global materials technology and recycling group, she will help to build the newly established Department of Process Metallurgy. This department is ...
Foto: HZDR researchers from Freiberg are testing non-invasive exploration methods in Andalusia - REFERENCE ©Copyright: INFACT / Leila Ajjabou

Sustainable exploration from the air

The firms SkyTEM and CGG Multi-Physics are currently testing new methods for environmentally friendly raw material exploration in the southern reference area of the EU project INFACT (Innovative, Non-Invasive and Fully Acceptable Exploration Techno­logies) in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Using a helicop­ter and an electromagnetic probe, they fly o­ver the area, co­vering approximately four hundred square kilo­meters. Utilizing the data collected, the INFACT researchers can subsequently check whether the sensors they used function as expected by comparing the results with the existing geological ­information. The INFACT project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), an institute at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).


Foto: Drone, type TholegTHO-R-PX-8/12, version 2 ©Copyright: Roberto Alejandro De La Rosa Fernandez

A new future for mineral exploration

With demand for raw materials higher than e­ver in Europe, so grew the discrepancies between the need for mining and the social reluctance. The INFACT Horizon 2020 project set out to unlock the unfavourable status of mineral extraction by developing more acceptable ­techno­logies to invigorate the exploration industry and map unrealised underground potential throughout Europe. INFACT documented their journey in a new video, showcasing these more effective, sustainable and acceptable practices.
Foto: Spülhalde Davidschacht Freiberg ©Copyright: SAXONIA Standortverwertungs- und -verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH

An environmental burden today, a resource for tomorrow

The Erzgebirge is set to become a model region for the forward-looking treatment of residual materials from the mining industry. Up to €15 million will be made available from the funding program WIR! – Wandel durch Innova­tionen in der Region (We: Innovation for change in the region) under the auspices of the project rECOmine – Ressourcenorien­tier­te Umwelt­techno­logien für das 21. Jahrhundert (rECOmine: Resource-oriented environmental ­techno­logies for the 21st century) set up by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The aim is to promote new methods within the region and for the world market, by means of which tailings and metal-rich water from the mining industry can be sustainably reclaimed and the valuable residual materials can be economically extracted. The project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) which is part of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. TU Bergakademie Freiberg and SAXONIA Standortentwick­lungs­- und ­verwal­tungs­gesell­schaft, a site development and ­manage­ment company, are involved in the running of the project, and it also enjoys the support of Wirt­schaftsförde­rung Erzgebirge GmbH.
Foto: Ore processing: Dr. Martin Rudolph (HIF) at the froth flotation pilot plant in Freiberg ©Copyright: Dr. Robert Möckel

A foam bath for ores

HZDR Press Release of June 3, 2019: A foam bath for ores
Foto: Aufbereitungsanlage ©Copyright: H

Reducing water consumption in mining

Water is a vital resource on which many industries rely and which can be used more sparingly. An example is the beneficiation of mineral ores. Taking the raw material fluorite as their example, researchers at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) have now shown how water usage can be optimized. They have developed a new procedure that extends the simulation of the beneficiation process. It indicates the circumstances in which it makes sense for water to be recycled without incurring losses during ore enrichment. The consumption of fresh water can thereby be significantly reduced. This not only benefits the environment but also the mining companies, because it makes the extraction of raw materials more efficient. The researchers have presented their new procedure in the Journal of Environmental Management (DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.11.139).
HIF is part of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and works in close collaboration with TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
Foto: Dr. Martin Rudolph, January 29th 2018 ©Copyright: André Wirsig

Science Communication Award goes to HIF

HIF scientist Dr. Martin Rudolph was awarded the Science Communication Prize of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), to which the HIF belongs, for the successful and committed communication of the research topic "resource efficiency" to the general public and the scientific community. He heads the Department of Processing, which deals with the extraction of primary raw materials and secondary materials by flotation, the most common industrial process for the production of metal concentrates.
Foto: GERRI (German Resource Research Institute) Round Table Discussion, 26.2.2019, Brussels ©Copyright: GERRI

Roundtable on circular economy: GERRI network demands to strengthen metallurgic capacities in Europe

The German Resource Research Institute GERRI lately invited high-level representatives from politics, research and industry for a debate on Europe’s path towards a circular economy. During the roundtable organised by the network of resource research organisations in Germany, the experts looked at challenges but also discussed different solutions to establish a closed-loop life cycle for products in Europe.
Foto: Metal wheel without lead metallurgy ©Copyright: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Markus Reuter

Why restricting lead (Pb) metallurgy is a bad idea

During the last few years, the use of lead (Pb) in the EU economy has been called into question by some policy makers. Lead is frequently seen as a problematic metal that can be detrimental to human health; what is much less well known is its fundamental role in the Circular Economy. To provide a firm metallurgical background on the importance of lead, Prof. Bart Blanpain (KU Leuven), Prof. Markus Reu­ter (TU Bergakademie Freiberg) and Dr. Annelies Malfliet (KU Leuven), active in the EU ETN SOCRATES network, have published a Policy Brief. They argue that restricting lead metallurgy in the EU would not only have a detrimental impact on the lead industry, but also on all the industries linked to it that work with elements like sil­ver, copper, antimony, tin, tellur and zinc.
Foto: Recycling index: It could inform consumers about the true recyclability of products. ©Copyright: Fairphone

How much circulation is possible?

Metal recycling is regarded as an important measure of the future to secure the supply of raw materials. Many experts agree on this. In most cases, howe­ver, it is unclear exactly how recyclable a product is and what proportion of the materials can be reco­vered at all. In an interview for the Helmholtz Association's "Earth and Environment" knowledge platform, HIF Director Professor Markus Reu­ter argues that the complexity of modern equipment and the resulting scrap make it har­der to close material flows and achieve a genuine circular economy.
Foto: Flotation lab. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Work and environmental safety and research go hand in hand

Anyone working in a laboratory in research and industry also deals with chemicals and other hazardous substances. To avoid risky situations, employees receive regular training. The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, which is part of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, together with the laboratory equipment manufacturer VWR International, is organizing an in-house exhibition on the subject of work and environmental safety on Tuesday, 22.1.2019.


Foto: Freiberg scientists in Cape Town 2018 ©Copyright: Dr. Jens Gutzmer

Freiberg researchers at new raw materials conference in Cape Town

In summertime Cape Town, South Africa, Freiberg scientists from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) and the TU Bergakademie presented current research results on the processing, extraction and recycling of strategic resources.
Foto: Anna Vanderbruggen ©Copyright: Anna Vanderbruggen

Student awards for research on recycling lithium ion batteries and gold reco­very from primary ore

Both Anna Vanderbruggen and Rosie Blannin won the “Prix AILg TFE” for their mas­ter theses accomplished at HIF and TU Bergakademie Freiberg in the course of the EMerald mas­ter program in resources engineering. The prize is awarded by the “Association des Ingénieurs diplômés de l’Uni­versité de Liège”. The graduates will now continue their research as PhD students: Anna Vanderbruggen just joined the HIF Processing Department and Rosie Blannin will be part of the Department of Analytics.
Foto: Metallurgie-Technikum: Erster Spatenstich am 17.10.2018 ©Copyright: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

Start made on construction of new metallurgy pilot plant at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

In a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday 17th October, the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) marked the start of construction work on a new technical facility. The institute, which is part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and works in close collaboration with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, is thus further expanding its research into the sustainable extraction and recycling of strategic resources. The Free State of Saxony is funding the project with a grant of 10.2 million euros.
Foto: Dr. Franziska Lederer leitet seit 1.10.2018 die Nachwuchsgruppe "BioKollekt" am HZDR ©Copyright: André Wirsig/HZDR

‘Bio-fishing’ for rare earths: How protein fragments can be used for the recycling of electronics waste

Without important key elements such as copper or rare earth metals, the electronics industry would grind to a halt and electricity would cease to flow. End-of-life products like discarded energy-saving lamps, mobile phones and computers could provide an important secondary source for these valuable elements; howe­ver, they are difficult to reco­ver. Unless, that is, small protein fragments are used to ‘fish’ them out – a technique described by researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg in an article published in the specialist magazine Research in Microbiology.
Foto: Metallurgie-Technikum (Planungsansicht) ©Copyright: Baubüro Freiberg GmbH

Ground-breaking ceremony: New metallurgy pilot plant at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and in close cooperation with TU Bergakademie Freiberg – is about to commence construction work on a new pilot plant for metallurgical processes. The purpose is to significantly expand application-oriented research into the extraction and recycling of strategic raw materials. Saxony’s State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts is funding the project with a grant of 10.2 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund.
Foto: Founding of the GERRI association ©Copyright: Fraunhofer-Projektgruppe IWKS

National raw materials network GERRI becomes association

With the founding of an association, the German Resource Research Institute is taking the next step to further promote the bundling of raw material expertise from science and industry for the German economy.
Foto: Mineral exploration sensor ©Copyright: Geotech Ltd.

INFACT’s first trials of innovative, non-invasive mineral exploration ­techno­logies are imminent

The EU-funded INFACT project, which is coordinated by Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, aims at combining the development and test of innovative, non-invasive minerals exploration ­techno­logies with an assessment of their social acceptance. For this purpose, three European reference sites will be established in Germany, Finland and Spain. Stakehol­der consultations took place at all sites in June and early July to pave the way for first technology trials which are about to start in August.
Foto: Pilot test: mining of test material at the Hämmerlein-Tellerhäuser complex-ore deposit in the Erzgebirge ©Copyright: HZDR

Raw Material­s Deposits in the Erzgebirge: Researchers aim to extract metals from local complex ores

Freiberg is at the centre of efforts of European raw-materials experts who aim to show that important metals can be extracted commercially from complex, composite ores that previously could not be exploited economically. The consortia of the German national project AFK, coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, and the European funded project FAME, managed by Wardell Armstrong International UK (WAI) and Geokompetenz­zentrum Freiberg (GKZ), have joint forces to invigorate complex ore processing by using modern rock analysis methods and compu­ter simulations. The newly designed process is now to be tested in a pilot plant trial in Freiberg with 150 tonnes of ores from the Hämmerlein-Tellerhäuser deposit in the Erzgebirge.
Foto: Grain mount ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Masters of the rocks: Professional networking for mineral sample pre­parators in Freiberg

Analysis technology has become so sophisticated that it now affords astonishingly accurate insights into the structure of rocks and minerals. But it is not only rock in its natural state that comes in for analysis but also specially prepared samples. There is a dedicated laboratory for this at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. From 13th to 14th March, mineral sample pre­parators from uni­versities and research institutes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be gathering together here.
Foto: Grain mount ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Erzlabor: A spin-off for raw materials characterization

HZDR Press Release (Feb. 07, 2018): Profound understanding of raw materials’ characteristics is essential for process and resource efficiency in the mining as well as in the recycling sector. Material­s characterization has become a powerful tool for the acquisition of quantitative data and is already applied along the entire raw materials value chain, from the exploration of new deposits to their rehabilitation. The newly established company ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH provides analytical services for the primary as well as secondary resource industry. The team of scientists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of HZDR – make state-of-the-art infrastructure and analytical competence available for the industry.
Foto: Fairphone ©Copyright: Fairphone

Back to the factory instead of in the garbage

Developments in waste ­manage­ment are supposed to head towards a circular economy: in accordance with this ideal, all the material used in manufacturing a product should be recyclable at the end of their lifespan. But a lot still has to happen before we get that far. As studies have shown, when it comes to electronic waste, modular construction and smart sorting would help to recycle valuable metals.
Foto: Flotation - Nahaufnahme ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

A foam bath for ores

In nature, raw materials do seldom occur in a pure form. The valuable particles in the ores first have to be painstakingly se­parated from other materials and enriched. The leading method for doing this is flotation. HZDR scientists examine its underlying mechanisms and microprocesses with the aim of optimizing industrial processes and improving the extraction efficiency in raw materials processing.
Foto: Crystal aggregate consisting of chalcopyrite, galenite, sphalerite and calcite. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Jürgen Jeibmann

Germany’s hidden treasures

The Energiewende is systemically changing our use of raw materials. While the need for coal, oil and gas is decreasing in the long term, the demand for metals and construction materials for energy-efficient wind and solar plants, battery and hydrogen storage or other systems is growing. Germany is not yet fully exploiting its potential in this field.


Foto: Labor für Flotation ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Sorting the wheat from the chaff: Pos­ter prize for research into flotation

In earlier centuries, raw materials were literally hacked out of the rock. The process is vividly described in the miners’ anthem, the Steigerlied. As the concentration of valuable minerals in new finds decreased, extraction became gradually more difficult. So for the past 150 years or so, the main technique for se­parating out the ores has been flotation.
Foto: Professor Markus Reuter ©Copyright: HZDR

Professor Markus Reu­ter awarded honorary doctorate by Stellenbosch Uni­versity

In a degree ceremony held today (08/12/17) at Stellenbosch Uni­versity, Markus Reu­ter is to be awarded an honorary PhD in Engineering for his outstanding scientific and technological contribution to the production and recycling of metals, as well as his exceptional role in the practical implementation of academic research. Since 2015, the metallurgy and recycling expert has been Director at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Honorary Professor for System-Integrated Material Production at TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
Foto: Max Frenzel ©Copyright: HZDR/Scheufler | Förster Wissenschaftskommunikation

Bernhard von Cotta Prize awarded to Dr Max Frenzel

At the annual general meeting of the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg on 1st December 2017, Dr Max Frenzel was awarded the 2017 Bernhard von Cotta Prize. The scientist, who is currently engaged in research at the Uni­versity of Adelaide in Australia, was honored for the outstanding work he did as part of his dissertation at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) and at the Institute of Mineralogy of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
Foto: Non-invasive raw material exploration from the air ©Copyright: Robert Zimmermann

The future of raw materials exploration in Europe: New EU project establishes reference areas for trialling new technology in three countries – Germany, Finland and Spain

Europe is about to become more attractive for the exploration of raw materials. Partners drawn from research and industry plan to develop innovative, non-invasive ­techno­logies and test them under realistic conditions. For this purpose, three European reference areas are to be established in Germany (Geyer), Finland (Sakatti) and Spain (Minas de Riotinto, Gerena). To this end, the EU is investing around 5.6 million euros o­ver the next three years in INFACT, a new research project in which 17 partners from seven countries have joined forces. The project is being coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.
Foto: Crystal aggregate consisting of chalcopyrite, galenite, sphalerite and calcite. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Jürgen Jeibmann

Alternative energy sources likely to increase demand for critical metals

If a raw material is in short supply, this can ad­versely affect entire industries. This is why the last decade has seen large-scale investment into research on high-tech metals, the supply of which is deemed to be at risk, and which are therefore considered critical. Researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, and at Technische Uni­versität Chemnitz have closely examined existing criticality studies, and disco­vered se­veral flaws in their methodo­logies. They are calling for a reassessment of which materials are to be designated as ‘critical’. This could lead to the inclusion of copper, iron, aluminium and other classic industrial metals in revised lists of critical raw materials.
Foto: Prof. Quang-Van Phan ©Copyright: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Phan Quang Van

Reco­vering rare earth ores in Vietnam: Guest scientist at HIF

Since last year HIF researchers have been contributing their infrastructures and know-how to the development of a rare earth deposit in the north-west of Vietnam. Prof. Quang-Van Phan, the project lea­der on the Vietnamese side, has just spent three months in Freiberg in order to push on the cooperation, accomplishing se­veral important intermediate steps.
Foto: Flotation: air bubble with value minerals attached. ©Copyright: HZDR/ 3D Kosmos

Innovations in raw material processing and recycling: Pos­ter awards for HIF researchers

HIF staff members have lately been successful with presenting their research at various conferences. Dr Rohan Jain, a Marie Curie Fellow at HIF’s Biotechnology Group, has received a pos­ter award for pursuing an entirely novel approach in biotechnology in order to reco­ver gallium from wastewater. PhD student Bruno Michaux, who works with the Processing Division, has won a pos­ter award for introducing a modeling and simulation approach to handle water chemistry issues in ore processing using flotation. And his colleague Haosheng Wu was just given a best student presentation award for her research dedicated to the microanalysis of raw materials (see news of 20 Sept).
Foto: Haosheng Wu (crop) ©Copyright: Haosheng Wu

Microanalysis of raw materials: Best student pos­ter award

Haosheng Wu, a PhD student at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), won a best student presentation award at the 21st International Conference on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). Part of HIF’s Processing Division, she applies methods of the institute’s Ion Beam Analysis Group, thus linking both teams closely. The conference took place from 10 to 15 September 2017 in Krakow, Poland, gathering representatives from both academia and industry to exchange results and new ideas on SIMS and related techniques.
Foto: HIF Science Slam - 1.9.2017 ©Copyright: HZDR

A different approach to networking – First-e­ver HIF science slam

Around 120 researchers, technicians and administrative staff are currently employed at HIF, which operates three different sites in Freiberg and Dresden. As a mat­ter of fact, hardly any team member will know all the others. But how can the networking and scientific exchange be facilitated? In order to achieve this, HIF’s first-e­ver science slam took place on 1 September.
Foto: Solvent extraction for recycling 2: Philipp Rädecker uses solvent extraction to obtain metals from flue dust. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

A mobile extraction plant for recycling of copper and indium

There is as yet no commercially viable method of salvaging all valuable metals from the dust generated during the production of copper and zinc. The HIF is conducting research into a new process specifically targeted at recycling the rare metal indium.
Foto: German Resource Research Institute - GERRI ©Copyright: GERRI

German research network GERRI growing

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), a subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), will be an important partner of the German raw materials research network GERRI.
Foto: Recycling index: It could inform consumers about the true recyclability of products. ©Copyright: MARAS B.V.

Electronics recycling and its environmental footprint: The “Fairphone” example

In Germany, less than half of electronics waste is recollected again. Meagre collection quotas are just one, albeit ­very important reason why there is still so much left to do when it comes to recycling. The complex design of modern electronical devices like in a mobile phone is by itself a great challenge for reco­vering valuable metalliferous and mineral resources.
Foto: Was ist zu tun, um aus rohem Erz Metalle herauszuholen? Dieser Frage gehen die gemeinsam von der Terra Mineralia und dem Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie (HIF) veranstalteten Workshops nach. (ref) ©Copyright: HZDR/Detlev Müller

Explore, analyze and process raw materials

Freiberg’s terra mineralia exhibition is offering a new series of summer workshops for anyone interested in exploring, analyzing raw materials and enriching minerals; the series is being conducted in cooperation with the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, and other partners. All raw materials enthusiasts aged 12 and o­ver are welcome to take part. The first workshop takes place on Wednesday 28th June 2017.
Foto: Duong Huu Hoang ©Copyright: TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Paper award for PhD student

For presenting his results obtained by Mineral Liberation Analysis, Duong Huu Hoang, scientific assistant at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and HIF, was awarded the first prize of the “Metallurgy, Physical and Chemical Techno­logies of Hydrocarbons Treatment” section at the Annual Conference for Young Researchers in Saint Petersburg.
Foto: Kickoff MULSEDRO-Projekt Startseite ©Copyright: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

EU supports innovation and sustainable mineral exploration

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), which is part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, will receive a grant of approximately €900,000 o­ver the next three years to support the development of new ­techno­logies for the environmentally and socially sustainable as well as efficient exploration of natural resources. The EU funding will be made available by EIT RawMaterial­s, which is supported by the European Insitute of Innovation and Technology, and has already been earmarked for three new projects. The researchers are seeking to advance drone-based exploration and other innovative exploration methods.
Foto: Flotation: 3D visualization (crop). Flotation is commonly used to separate metals from crude ore. During flotation, the finely ground ore is mixed with water. The addition of chemicals makes the ore particles differentially wettable; valuable substances are extracted while worthless particles are left behind. The valuable substances are attached to air bubbles, transported upwards and can thus be separated. ©Copyright: HZDR/ 3D Kosmos

Copper mining with bioactive substances derived from bacteria

Chile is one of the most important suppliers of copper to German industry. Within the framework of the scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries, research is now being pursued into how Chilean copper ores can be extracted in a more environmentally sustainable way. Bioactive substances derived from bacteria may replace or reduce chemicals. A further aim is to increase metal yield while extracting metals that are traditionally difficult to se­parate out, in particular the molybdenum content. The joint project between Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of HZDR – and the Advanced Mining and Technology Cen­ter at the Uni­versidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile began in February.
Foto: EMerald Winter Business School 2017 ©Copyright: Bruno Michaux

Future raw materials experts from all o­ver the world attend win­ter school in Freiberg

The youngs­ters attending the Win­ter Business School (9th - 27th January 2017) come from Brazil, Colombia, China and India as well as many other parts of the world and have already graduated in subjects such as Geology, Mineral Engineering, Physics and Chemistry. They are united by a desire to identify solutions to the challenges faced by the raw materials industry and to obtain a European Master’s in Georesources Engineering. This includes a three-week win­ter school in Freiberg, Saxony. 18 students from the course are taking part.
Foto: Hyperspectral remote sensing exploration in Greenland ©Copyright: Dr. Sandra Lorenz

Raw material exploration 2.0

There are many known ore deposits on Greenland, but also many sites that are difficult to reach. An innovative ‘toolbox’ based on drone-borne methods as well as specialised compu­ter software could soon make the exploration of raw materials significantly easier. Researchers from Freiberg are hereby collaborating with the Geological Research Institute of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).


Foto: Mikroorganismen im Erzbergbau ©Copyright: HZDR/ Sander Münster

Tailings as Raw Material Storage for Copper and Building Material­s: The German-Polish research project NOMECOR has begun

Copper and other non-ferrous metals cannot be fully broken down in mines, and residues of the valuable metals remain even after the metallurgical processes that follow. Residues are stored on tailings. The new German-Polish research project NOMECOR has two aims, namely to reclaim the metals as well as to make the mineral componen­ts of the tailings usable for cement production. The Federal Ministry for Research and Education is funding the research project for three years with approximately 500,000 euros. This is coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at HZDR as well as the Polish Institute for Non-ferrous Metallurgy (IMN).
Foto: German Resource Research Institute - GERRI ©Copyright: GERRI

The German Resource Research Institute (GERRI) goes online

In 2015, five leading German research institutes of the raw materials sector founded “GERRI” – a virtual institute that is aimed at strengthening German raw material research in the international realm. The “German Resource Research Institute“ has now reached an important stage recording, categorizing and publishing the national competencies and infrastructures of its founding partners in a database (
Foto: Eröffnung des EIT RawMaterials - Regional Center Freiberg ©Copyright: TU Bergakademie Freiberg/ Detlev Müller

Official opening of the EIT RawMaterial­s – Regional Cen­ter Freiberg

On October 20th, Uwe Gaul State, Secretary of the Saxon Ministry of Science and the Fine Arts, together with Prof. Dr. Klaus-Die­ter Barbknecht, Rector of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, officially inaugurated the EIT RawMaterial­s – Regional Cen­ter Freiberg. The Regional Cen­ter Freiberg is to assist Freiberg’s scientific institutions with networking across the region as well as supporting the academic education within the raw materials sector.
Foto: Gruppenfoto (von links nach rechts): Prof. Holger Lieberwirth (Institut für Aufbereitungsmaschinen/ IAM), Tom Leistner (HIF), Gerhard Merker (Gmünden), Bent Babel (HIF), Michael Klichowicz (IAM), Prof. Gerald van den Boogaart (HIF), Prof. Urs Peuker (Mechanische Verfahrenstechnik und Aufbereitungstechnik/ MVTAT), Dr. Thomas Mütze (MVTAT), Robert Hartmann (Oulu), Lutz Wuschke (MVTAT/IAM), Dr. Thomas Leißner (MVTAT), Nathalie Sterbik (HIF) und Dr. Martin Rudolph (HIF). ©Copyright: Dr. Martin Rudolph

Young Author Award of the International Mineral Processing Congress goes to Freiberg research cooperation project

From 11 until 15 September international scientists exchanged their latest results at the world’s largest mineral processing congress in Canada. Researchers from Freiberg took part presenting a successful collaboration project which earned a “Young Author Award”.
Foto: Sandra Jakob ©Copyright: HZDR

Best Paper Award given to Sandra Jakob of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

Sandra Jakob of the exploration division of HZDR's Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology is the recipient of the Best Paper Award given for her lecture at the „8th Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing“; her coauthors are Robert Zimmermann and Dr. Richard Gloaguen.
Foto: Max Frenzel ©Copyright: HZDR/Scheufler | Förster Wissenschaftskommunikation

Annual Production of Gallium und Germanium could be much higher

The global supply potential of the high-tech metals gallium and germanium is much grea­ter than actual annual production levels. This is the main conclusion from Max Frenzel’s work. Frenzel, a postgraduate student at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), which closely cooperates with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, is one of two recipients of the Bernd Rendel Prize for Geosciences 2016. The prize, awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will be presented on 28th September at the annual conference of the German Geological Society (DGGV) in Innsbruck.
Foto: Staff summer party at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology on 25 August 2016 ©Copyright: Anja Weigl

Happy Birthday, Bon Anni­versaire, Felicitaciones! Staff celebrate 5th anni­versary

On 25 August 2016 the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology saw its first staff summer party at its new headquarters in Freiberg. And there was another reason for celebration since it has been five years now that the Helmholtz Institute was founded back then on 29 August 2011.
Foto: RJ Companero (Philippines) and Sibele do Nascimento (Brazil) have specialized in georesources engineering, accomplishing their master theses in Freiberg. ©Copyright: Anja Weigl

Georesources engineering students accomplish their work in Freiberg

Last week, three mas­ter students from the EU’s Emerald program in georesources engineering presented their mas­ter theses at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg (HIF). During the past six months, the students have accomplished their work at the HIF and the Institute for Mechanical Process Engineering and Mineral Processing (MVTAT) of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
Foto: Supernova Zentrum Casa ©Copyright: NASA/CXC/SAO

Disco­very of a time-resolved supernova signal in Earth’s microfossils

Joint press release published on August 10, 2016: Physicists from the Technical Uni­versity of Munich (TUM) have succeeded in detecting a time-resolved supernova signal in the Earth’s microfossil record. As the group of Prof. Shawn Bishop could show, the supernova signal was first detectable at a time starting about 2.7 Million years ago. According to the researcher’s analyses, our solar system spent one Million years to transit trough the remnants of a supernova. Also involved in the project were researchers at HZDR's Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology.
Foto: Drone ©Copyright: HZDR

Experts from Saxony Assist Raw Material Exploration in Greenland

The technical expertise of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) has been requested to support mineral exploration of zinc deposits in West Greenland. The scientists of the HIF, part of the HZDR, are combining the use of drones alongside various other more traditional exploration methods. The aim of this project is to produce high-resolution geological maps of two remote areas of approximately 15 km2 each.

MinenfahrzeugAn outlook on the rare earth elements mining industry

How learning from the mistakes of the past can contribute to building a strong global rare earth elements supply chain; new April´s feature in the AutIMM Bullitin by George Barakos and Professor Jens Gutzmer (Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology) and Professor Helmut Mischo University (TU Bergakademie Freiberg). Read more
Foto: Beispiel für die expandierenden Überreste einer Supernova: Keplers Supernova explodierte in 13.000 Lichtjahren Entfernung im Sternbild Schlangenträger (Ophiuchus). Sternengucker wie der berühmte Astronom Johannes Kepler konnten sie schon vor 400 Jahren beobachten. ©Copyright: NASA, ESA, R. Sankrit and W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University) / CC BY 3.0

Supernovae Showered Earth with Radioactive Debris

An international team of scientists has found evidence of a series of massive supernova explosions near our solar system, which showered the Earth with radioactive debris. The scientists found radioactive iron-60 in sediment and crust samples taken from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Foto: Separating non-valuable rock from the ore at the earliest possible stage minimizes costs and rubble in further processing of raw materials. ©Copyright: TUBAF / Detlev Müller

Sustainable Processing of Rare Earths: HZDR scientists develop environmentally friendly strategy for Vietnam

Researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology 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 for the first time in this endeavor. The recently initiated project, in cooperation with the UVR-FIA GmbH, is part of the CLIENT funding measure. Through this measure, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research fosters the cooperation with newly industrialized countries, thus supporting sustainable climate protection and environmental ­techno­logies as well as economic development.

Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie auf der PDAC 2016Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology at leading exploration convention in Canada

Between March 6 and 9, 2016 the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) participates in the world’s leading Convention for people, companies and organizations in, or connected with, mineral exploration, the PDAC2016. The institute aims at strengthening its contacts to partners from international science and industry.