Today, industry leaders, policymakers, and researchers convened in Trapani, Sicily, for the final event of the SEArcularMINE project. Hosted by SEArcularMINE project partners from the University of Palermo, SOSALT, and ResourSEAs, this event provided attendees with insights into the successful Horizon 2020 project.

The SEArcularMINE project is an initiative aimed to revolutionize mineral recovery processes from brine. Attendees to this final showcase at Polo Universitario di Trapani had the opportunity to see captivating presentations detailing the project's advancements and breakthroughs, as well as participate in a later tour of the pilot plant location in Trapani. The event kicked off with opening remarks from representatives of local authorities and universities. Key speakers were the president of the Polo Universitario di Trapani consortium, Francesco Torre, followed by the Rettore Vicario of the University of Palermo Enrico Napoli. The Municipality of Erice Mayor Daniela Toscano followed suit, offering the locality’s support for the project. Further appreciation was shown for the initiatives of SEArcularMINE by Vicenzo Abbruscator, deputy mayor from the Municipality of Trapani; Orazio Amenta, head of technical department of the Municipality of Trapani; and Cristina Ciminnisi, of the Sicilian parliament. This speaks to the strong local interest in the project technology and sustainable processes.

The SEArcularMINE project was introduced by its coordinator Andrea Cipollina, and further project partners then showcased the SEArcularMINE technologies. This included the recovery of magnesium, trace elements, and lithium, as well as the on-site generation of reactants. In total, these presentations detailed the various elements that have since been integrated into the pilot site in Trapani. These presentations fostered a great deal of engagement from the audience, who offered a number of questions for the team.

The SEArcularMINE project shares a number of synergies with other European research initiatives. Carolina Rodriguez Rodriguez from the European Health and Digital Executive Agency of the European Commission provided an overview of the current landscape of raw material policies and innovation projects in Europe. Building upon these insights, attendees were introduced to additional, relevant projects recovering raw materials from brine, including SEA4VALUE, WATER MINING and REWAISE.

To conclude the main programme, a panel discussion with industrial stakeholders explored the prospects of minerals harvesting from saltworks and integration of desalination, featuring prominent speakers from companies such as SUEZ International, Siciliacque, Groupe Salins, IPOOL, SOSALT, ResourSEAs, IMIEU, and more. Key discussions centred on market prospects generated from the project and a path to a more sustainable future.

The final, and perhaps most anticipated, element of the event was the guided tours of the pilot plant at the ResourSEAs headquarters in Trapani. This was a unique opportunity for attendees to engage with SEArcularMINE project engineers and see the various technologies utilised in the integrated pilot plant.

Overall, participants expressed a great deal of interest in the results of the SEArcularMINE project. More information and updates on the results over the final stage of the project will be announced on its website and can be found at its LinkedIn and Twitter/X channels.

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