The outcomes and the future of the ¡VAMOS! project

The 31st of January marked the last day, after four years of designing, producing, assembling and testing, of the ¡VAMOS! project. It has been a long road, but the project team has managed it very well.

Now that ¡VAMOS! is reaching the end of the funded period term, it is time for an internal evaluation of the proposed objectives and to prepare for the future. The project might be over, but the collaboration will continue.

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Field demonstration of ¡VAMOS! technology is a success at Silvermines, Ireland

On the 24th of October the ¡VAMOS! partners together with Advisory Board members and interested external parties – such as geologists and researchers from companies and institutions, local people etc – were present at the ¡VAMOS! technology Demonstration Day, at the Magcobar flooded mine pit, in Silvermines, Ireland. In total 85 visitors participated in the field demonstration to raise awareness of the innovative technology with stakeholders and local communities.

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¡VAMOS! preparing for second field tests in Ireland

In spring the ¡VAMOS! team decided to cancel the planned field trials at the Vareš open-pit mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After re-evaluating the site’s access, geotechnical conditions and other parameters, it was concluded, together with the EU Project Officer, that there were too many uncertainties to make the submerged cutting tests programme successful in an acceptable manner for all stakeholders involved. This represented a setback not only for the team but also for the people who had made arrangements locally. The ¡VAMOS! team had to look for alternatives and thus, studied several options across Europe.

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Successful demonstration of ¡VAMOS! technology in UK

On the 24th of October the ¡VAMOS! consortium, Advisory Board Members, and interested external parties were invited for a live demonstration of the ¡VAMOS! technology at the Imerys Minerals Ltd. test site in Lee Moor, Devon, UK. The 29 visitors were divided up in small groups and guided around the premises by representatives of SMD Ltd., Damen Dredging Equipment and INESC TEC, who have been working on the various project components.

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¡VAMOS! & UNEXMIN conference on robotics and automation in mineral exploration and mining

In January 2018 iVAMOS! and UNEXMIN will be organizing a joint conference on the use of robotics and automation for mineral exploration and extraction. The cross-cutting collaboration between the two EU-funded projects, involving a combined total of 25 participating partner organisations, as well as participants outside both consortia, will largely benefit the development of the respective technologies.

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¡VAMOS! field trials about to start in UK

The ¡VAMOS! Team have visited several abandoned mine sites over the last 2 years, investigating suitability for field testing. Following a careful selection process, eventually two mine sites were selected, in which the novel mining technique will be tried out. The first one is in the United Kingdom: Whitehill Yeo pit at Lee Moor, Devon.

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Positive results for the ¡VAMOS! underwater Positioning, Navigation and Awareness system

On the 29th and 30th of March, the ¡VAMOS! Consortium gathered at INESC TEC’s (Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science) facilities in Porto for a two-day meeting. During the meeting, participants cross-examined their work with the other project partners and the external Advisory Board.

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¡VAMOS! opens ERE1.1 at the 2017 European Geosciences Union conference

The Austria Center Vienna

Kicking off the ERE1.1 session to a potential in-person audience of more than 100 interested geoscientific experts, ¡VAMOS! will be presented alongside similar projects related to raw materials robotics innovation such as ‘UNEXMIN – an underwater robotic explorer for flooded mines’, and more environmentally focussed research including ‘Integrated water resources management’.

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¡VAMOS! attends the Real Time Mining Conference

In October of this year, the ¡VAMOS! Consortium will be attending the Real Time Mining Conference in Amsterdam. This conference, hosted by TU Delft on behalf of the Real Time Mining Consortium, aims to attract proposals from projects related to the increasing of minerals extraction efficiencies.

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¡VAMOS! reaches Design Freeze Milestone

¡VAMOS!, the Viable Alternative Mining Operating System, is a 42-month research and development project launched to enable the opening and rehabilitation of underexploited European mineral deposits, using a safe, clean and low visibility method. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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Second ¡VAMOS! Stakeholder workshop organised

The second ¡VAMOS! Stakeholder workshop took place in São Domingos, a village located in the south of Portugal, close to the Spanish border, on 21 April 2016. The future of abandoned mines of the Iberian Pyrite Belt was the topic of this workshop, which collected the views and insight of local and regional stakeholders from Portugal and Spain…

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Another ¡VAMOS! test mine site investigated

During the first week of April a ¡VAMOS! team performed another visit to a possible test mine site. This time Bosnia was our host. The equipment builders and the geology experts from Bosnia and Slovenia within the team, presented the goals and plans of ¡VAMOS! to local stakeholders.

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¡VAMOS! Advisory Board validates interim results

A major milestone was achieved on 12 January 2016 when interim project results were presented to the ¡VAMOS! Advisory Board (AB) in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The meeting was attended by the ¡VAMOS! project management team, Work Package Leaders and by the members of the Advisory Board. During the full-day discussion, interim results were presented and discussed in detail.

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First pre-trial site visits taken place

In week 40 the design team of the project visited two of the four locations where the ¡VAMOS! system is foreseen to be tested. During the visit the current design was explained to the mine site owners, and the first preparations were made in order to set up a field test plan. Possible issues related to infrastructure, climate, social acceptance, safety and environment were discussed.

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¡VAMOS! delivers conceptual design plans for submerged mining prototype

¡VAMOS!, the Viable Alternative Mining Operating System, a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, has passed a major milestone with the successful delivery of conceptual design plans of the prototype and all associated equipment. This work was carried out in Work Package 2 (WP2), which also designed the system’s architecture and its functional specifications.

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¡VAMOS! System Architecture phase well on the way

On the 12th of June several members of the ¡VAMOS! Work Package 2 project team held a progress meeting at one of the partner’s facilities: SMD in Newcastle, UK.

Within Work Package 2, the System Architecture of the ¡VAMOS! equipment is defined, laying the basis for further detailed engineering of all system components.

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First ¡VAMOS! Stakeholder Workshop has taken place

On 11th June 2015 the ¡VAMOS! project was presented in Newcastle to an audience interested in low impact, environmentally safe mining techniques. The first ¡VAMOS! Stakeholder Workshop was organized back-to-back with a workshop organized by the Geological Society of London with the title “Mining in a crowded country”.

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Vamos stakeholder workshop

The first ¡VAMOS! Stakeholder workshop is organised in Newcastle 11-12 June. This event is combined with the 2015 Council Meeting of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), which will be attended by representatives from 24 countries from Europe. The Stakeholder Workshop programme focuses on initial dissemination and awareness raising for ¡VAMOS!, informing a broad range of stakeholders from industry, academia and professional associations from all over Europe.

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Vamos project kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of VAMOS was held in Newcastle, UK on 13 March. Project participants came together from nine countries, representing seventeen organisations to officially launch this European research project that will run for 42 months.

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Horizon 2020 programme to Develop Revolutionary
Underwater Mining System

Picture is for reference only, courtesy of Nautilus Minerals Inc

As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, a new 42 month Research & Development Project, has been launched to help provide an opportunity to tap into the wealth of unexploited European mineral resources. The estimated cost of the Project is approximately 12.6 mlllion Euros.

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