“If you want to see an elephant, go where the elephants live”
With this little bit of witticism, Prof. Frank Melcher of the University of Leoben for Mining, Metallurgy and Materials opened his joint presentation with Prof. Jens Gutzmer from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology today on “Mineral Raw Materials from Europe for Europe – Europe’s Potential in Mineral Deposits” within the opening panel “Raw Materials Are the Future”. If one seeks to prospect new raw material deposits, one should start near old mines!
New lithium projects in Zinnwald and Wolfsberg
Based on specific exploration results, Prof. Melcher and Prof. Gutzmer pointed out Europe’s abundance in raw materials – i.a. in the Ore Mountains and the Alps! Against the backdrop of a rapidly increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries, two new lithium projects in Zinnwald (Ore Mountains) at the German-Czech border and Wolfsberg, located 270 km south of Vienna, were introduced.
Battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide is used to manufacture various types of lithium-ion batteries. So far, they are mainly applied in mobile devices; however, in the future, these batteries will be increasingly used for electric cars. With the lithium resources on the German side of the deposit in Zinnwald alone, about 10 million vehicles could be equipped with batteries – and the lithium reserves on the Czech side are even twice as large!
However, just as it was mentioned in many other lectures as well, the 2 speakers underscored the shortage of qualified professionals! Therefore, plenty of favorable career prospects in the mining and mineral processing sector will await future engineering graduates! So why not have a closer look at our broad range of corresponding study programs at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg?