LIFE Project Cover Photo

New water solutions for the mining industry: towards minimum liquid discharge and by-product recovery

Reference: LIFE17 ENV/ES/000315 | Acronym: LIFE REMINE-WATER



As the global population grows and the climate warms, water scarcity is raising mounting concerns for food production in the 21st century. The challenge cannot be met without engaging with industry. Guzzling about 40% of the water consumed in the EU, industrial players are some of the main users and polluters of water resources. Mining and quarrying currently produces 7% of all wastewater discharged in the EU. The sector relies on plentiful water supplies to separate ores and metals from rocks and transport raw materials to processing sites. It has a vested interest in recycling the water that it uses. Furthermore, economies of scale in the industry offer unparalleled opportunities for pioneering water saving and recovery technologies prior to their broader roll-out.


The goal of the REMINE-WATER project is to conserve water resources and protect natural environments from salt discharged in industrial brines. A new set of water treatment technologies will purify salty effluents from mining and metallurgy operations. Project partners will design, build and operate these technologies in facilities used for processing minerals. A new take on a technology known as ultra-high-pressure reverse osmosis will notably reduce the greenhouse gases emitted by current wastewater treatment techniques, in line with the Industrial Emissions Directive. The technologies fielded in the project will remove salt from industrial brine and also extract acids and metals to offer them a second life, supporting the EU circular economy strategy and the roadmap to a resource efficient Europe.

Expected results:

  • Reuse recovered water to reduce water consumption from mining and metallurgy operations by 15%;
  • Recover 90% of water discharged in mining and metallurgy operations from reverse osmosis concentrates;
  • Reduce the salinity in effluents discharged by the mining and metallurgy industry by 50%;
  • Reduce the operating expenditure of ultra-high-pressure reverse osmosis technology by 50% compared to conventional brine treatment technologies;
  • Reduce greenhouse gases emitted emissions from thermal brine treatment processes by 70%, (to the equivalent of 10 kg CO2/m of brine treated);
  • Recover minerals, sulfuric acid and metals (notably copper and zinc) from process streams in the mining and metallurgy industry.


    Reference: LIFE17 ENV/ES/000315
    Start Date: 01/10/2018
    End Date: 31/10/2023
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,812,708 €
    EU Contribution: 1,087,623 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: CETaqua, Centro Tecnolgico del Agua, Fundacin Privada
    Legal Status: PRIVATE
    Address: Carretera dEsplugues, 75, 08940, Cornell de Llobregat (Barcelona), España
    Contact Person: Carlos ECHEVARRÍA
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Waste water treatment
    • Mining - Quarrying


    • water reuse
    • reverse osmosis
    • industrial waste water
    • resource conservation
    • waste water treatment


    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
    • COM(2012)673 -"A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources"
    • COM(2011)885 - EU 2050 Energy Roadmap (15.12.2011)
    • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.2010)


    Name Type
    CETaqua, Centro Tecnolgico del Agua, Fundacin Privada Coordinator
    Minas de Aguas Teñidas (MATSA) SAU Spain Participant
    Siec Badawcza Lukasiewicz - Instytut Metali Niezelaznych Poland Participant