Catégorie de la page

Mineral resources and the circular economy


Fait marquant

SOLSA Expert System: on-site analyses for fast, pertinent decision-making

The idea behind the SOLSA Expert System (Sonic On-Line Sampling & Analysis) is to move analytical tasks from the laboratory directly to the client’s site, thereby revolutionising the market for the life cycle analysis of mineral commodities. Using a set of sensors integrated into the Modulab mobile laboratory, SOLSA is able to measure and analyse the morphological, mineralogical and chemical parameters of samples directly on site and in real time. 

The processing and interpretation of data is based on analytical solutions using innovative digital approaches, including artificial intelligence. This system is able to inform and, above all, to accelerate the decision-making process for manufacturers.


Display and real-time processing of morphological, chemical and mineralogical data acquired on drill cores. © BRGM - C. Boucley

FutuRaM: developing the recycling of critical metals

BRGM is a partner in the FutuRaM project, which began in June 2022. Funded by the Horizon Europe programme, its aim is to expand the knowledge base of stocks of secondary raw materials and their recycling potential across Europe. The focus is on critical raw materials. The aim is to draw up a report on the recycling of these metals in different waste streams and to identify development prospects. The role of the FutuRaM project, which includes creating a database to disseminate the information generated, will be to support decision-making on the recovery and use of secondary materials inside and outside the European Union.

AfricaMaVal, for a partnership between Europe and Africa on mineral resources

BRGM has been coordinating the European project (Horizon Europe) AfricaMaVal with African and European partners since June 2022. The project aims to provide a sustainable supply of critical metals for European industries, while ensuring local and sustainable co-development in Africa. Studies will be conducted across the continent. To build a stable long-term business environment for European and African companies, AfricaMaVal will include one hundred investment projects in Africa, covering the entire value chain: mining, processing, refining and even finished products, as well as infrastructure (road, rail, port) and energy (wind turbines, geothermal energy, solar panels).

Africa Maval logo

French Guiana: trials on the acquisition of lidar data by drone

BRGM has conducted a methodological study on the acquisition of drone-based lidar data in French Guiana, in order to test the feasibility of this type of survey in the equatorial forest. The trial focused on the specific context of alluvial gold prospecting. It concerned an area of 2 km by 500 m around a watercourse, which was covered using lidar and photogrammetry. The results were studied using an experimental data analysis approach in order to assess the boundary conditions for a survey of this type in heavily forested areas. The project also produced a round-up of the geophysical methods best suited to alluvial prospecting, in order to determine the tools that could be developed for drone solutions.


Digital terrain model of an alluvial valley, obtained using drone-based lidar in a forest environment (Georgeon Creek, French Guiana). Report: BRGM/RP-72082-FR. © BRGM

Careme project: bringing the recycling of WEEE closer to catalyst production

The Careme project (CAtalysis with REcycled MEtals from waste to wealth, ANR 2021) is contributing to a shift towards more sustainable consumption habits and greater independence in metal supplies. Its purpose is to study the implementation of a short-circuit solution between the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and the production of precious metal-doped catalysts. BRGM’s objective in this project is to develop a WEEE treatment process in which the metal composition is strictly controlled. These metal concentrates are reworked by the partners to produce efficient catalysts. The project also includes a study on the regeneration of the catalysts produced.


Waste electronic boards and motherboards. © BRGM

PEPR: BRGM at the helm for the recycling of strategic metals

The PEPR1 project on “Recyclability, recycling and the reincorporation of materials” is a priority in the national strategy for technological and industrial research and development. BRGM is involved in four of the total of ten projects, and is coordinator for the project dedicated to strategic metals. It is providing expertise in relation to the graphite production value chain, the recycling of rare earth permanent magnets and the recycling of printed circuit boards using physical and biohydrometallurgical means.
It is also pursuing a clearer understanding of the microbiological mechanisms required to optimise the operation of bioreactors used to dissolve the metals in electronic boards.

(1) Priority research programmes and equipment.