Project partner SOSALT is excited to share photos of the progress of The Real Environment Laboratory (REL) currently in development within the natural reserve of Trapani and Paceco Saltworks in Sicily. This ancient building in the middle of saltworks is being renovated so that it can host a small laboratory with facilities capable of performing tests on the seawater brines/bitterns. 

This historic building was selected for its proximity to the final crystallisation basins within the saltworks and ease of access to the saltworks seawater bitterns targeted by the SEArcularMINE project.

SEArcularMINE is working towards the development of innovative mineral recovery technologies that can be integrated into the delicate environmental locations of saltworks.  The SEArcularMINE project and concept is committed to innovating a circular, sustainable process which uses only seawater as an input, eliminates any requirements for external chemicals and strives to bring the demand for energy and freshwater close to zero.


Restoration works, both internally and externally, are in progress to allow the building to return to working use.  Respecting the local, historic architectural style the building is constructed from tufa, a variety of limestone formed in close proximity to bodies of water with a high content of minerals.  Local artisans have recently completed the restoration of the wooden ceiling and this internal structural arch.

Once complete, project partners ResourSEAs and UNIPA plan to analyse the composition  and variation of the seawater bittern samples in-situ to continue to assess the potential for mineral extraction. 

The REL will also host dedicated dissemination events to communicate the project results achieved to local stakeholders and authorities.