The Resilient Bio-inspired Modular Robotic Miners (ROBOMINERS) project is poised to make a transformative contribution to the goals outlined in the European Commission’s Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). By creating a bio-inspired, modular, and reconfigurable robot-miner, ROBOMINERS targets the extraction of small, challenging mineral deposits deemed uneconomical by traditional mining methods.

Key contributions to CRMA objectives:

  • Boosting domestic production: ROBOMINERS facilitates efficient, low-impact, and cost-effective mineral extraction from previously inaccessible deposits, aligning with the CRMA’s push to enhance domestic raw materials production.
  • Ramping up recycling: The robot-miner’s precise excavation techniques minimise waste rock and tailings generation, addressing the CRMA’s emphasis on increasing recycling rates and promoting the recovery of critical raw materials from products and waste streams.
  • Diversifying the supply chain: ROBOMINERS enables the extraction of raw materials from unconventional sources, contributing to the CRMA’s objective of diversifying the sources of raw materials.

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Photo: Guillaume Perigois via Unsplash

The ROBOMINERS project, funded by the European Union, is set to embark on a groundbreaking field trial in Slovenia, in the second half of October 2023. These trials will be held at the historic Mežica and Žerjav lead and zinc underground mines. This significant event marks a milestone in the project’s mission to bolster European access to mineral raw materials while reducing import dependency.

Unlocking the Future of Mining: ROBOMINERS

Discover in our Policy Brief how the EU-funded ROBOMINERS project is revolutionising the mining industry. From extracting minerals in hard-to-reach deposits to reducing environmental impact, ROBOMINERS brings a true paradigm shift.

At its heart lies a groundbreaking innovation: a bio-inspired, modular, and reconfigurable robot-miner poised to access mineral deposits that were once beyond reach.

The mining sector, historically notorious for its dangers, is on the cusp of transformation. ROBOMINERS offers a safer path forward.

ROBOMINERS has a vision to reshape mine design and operational costs. By leveraging robotics and automation, it can turn the mining industry “invisible.” Imagine robots operating deep underground, excavating precise galleries that match mineralised areas, minimising waste rock, and sending high-grade ore to the surface. This holds the promise of unparalleled cost reduction and environmental sustainability.

ROBOMINERS’ ability to operate at great depths presents a solution to the rising demand for mineral raw materials, ensuring a sustainable supply for various industries. Financially, it offers a more cost-effective approach compared to conventional mining, with significantly lower initial investment and setup costs.

ROBOMINERS ushers in a new era for mining – one marked by technological advancement, environmental responsibility, and socio-economic progress. By embracing this innovation, the European Union can lead the way towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Read our Policy Brief to learn more: