At the beginning of January 2020, the kick of meeting of the SAMEX project “Selective AMmoniacal EXtraction process for valorizing Zn-rich BOF sludges” was held in TECNALIA´s facilities in San Sebastian (Spain).

This project is an upscaling project funded under the ‘KAVA Call 6’, in the framework of the ‘Innovation Theme’ No.3 of EIT Raw Materials (Increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes) and it is part of ‘Lighthouse’ of ‘Raw Materials and Circular Societies’.

EIT Raw Materials is the world’s largest innovation community in the raw materials sector aiming to develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe.

The project will be executed within the next three years, and three partners will work on it: Arcelor Mittal (AM)KU Leuven (KUL) and TECNALIA (TEC) as project leader.

AM generates big quantities of Zn-rich Basic Oxygen Furnace sludge, which requires storage or landfilling. In 2017-18 AM developed a process that selectively extracts Zn, leaving behind an Fe-rich residue that is internally recycled. In SAMEX, AM, TEC & KUL will upscale this process. A pilot plant will be built to validate the process (TRL7). If successful, AM shall implement it in >1/3 of its EU-plants by 2025, while other sludge producers can also benefit.