The national cluster of raw materials and sustainable mining ISMC, has led to the creation of the first Interregional valley of innovation in battery recycling to ensure the sustainable supply of raw materials from European industry.
With 900 million electric vehicles expected by 2040, the European Union will have to multiply by 19 its current offer in the next decade alone. To mitigate the pressure on the battery supply chain, the national cluster of raw materials and sustainable mining (ISMC), based in the Technology Park of León, is one of the precursors of the project “EU circular BATtery valley for second life, recycling, and re-manufacturing of materials and black MASS: BATMASS” whose financing, through the instrument of the European Commission “I3” or Interregional Innovation Investments, amounts to 9,765,017.65€ for its initial implementation of 30 months. It is about, “stop the dependence on the outside for the obtaining of essential raw materials (lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, graphite, etc.), since we only produce 1% of the total raw materials for batteries. These materials are often extracted under questionable socio-environmental conditions and expose the EU to price volatility and limited sovereignty. Circularity is the solution“, underlines the general director of the cluster and expert technologist, Santiago Cuesta López.
However, currently only 10% of battery materials are recovered and only between 1% and 3% of lithium is recovered worldwide, so “new processes and technologies are required, in addition to a portfolio of interregional investments in TRL6+ innovations and circular processes for raw materials” detailed Cuesta López, “This interregional ecosystem is integrated around four demonstrators and will be able to scale, market and deploy innovative green technologies.” Another objective is to generate income after the initial phase, in addition to joining efforts for the European recovery. “BATMASS will save 59,000 tonnes of precursor materials and contribute to achieving the EU’s strategic objectives on resilience and the environment.”
The BATMASS project consortium is made up of 22 entities between Spain, France, Italy and Slovenia, which have joined forces in the creation of this international network for battery recycling and the implementation of industrial pilots, and whose ambition is to establish a circular battery economy throughout the southern axis of Europe. The role of ISMC in the creation of this network has been, and is, paramount, facilitating international cooperation, industrial development and the transfer of innovation to industry, “the cluster thus contributes to its objectives of sustainability and modernization of the industry in the field of clean energy, leading innovation projects in materials and technologies for the recycling of raw materials in industrial value chains as relevant to European society as electromobility and stationary energy storage“, explained Cuesta López.
ISMC moves towards the final stretch of the year with an extraordinary balance, “it is a very beneficial year for the consolidation of the cluster. We have achieved a great European presence and an attraction of international funds close to 50 million euros for the benefit of companies and institutions in regional, national and international innovation projects that position us as a benchmark in support of innovation and business promotion, “said Cuesta López. Since the association began its journey in 2018, “more than 5 million euros have been allocated to the province of León, the cluster and its associates. We continue to grow exponentially to consolidate mining territories and regions thanks to all the companies that trust us by joining the cluster. We generate value for companies and ensure well-being in Europe”, concluded the general director of the entity.
The National Cluster for Sustainable Mining and Associated Services of the Iberian Peninsula (ISMC) –ISMC – www.ismc-iberiamine.com
ISMC brings together more than 60 companies, professional organizations, universities and research centres totalling more than 1900 employees dedicated to the mining industry and its associated services.
Its mission is to join forces and attract relevant actors in the mining and raw materials value chains in order to promote sustainability and circularity of the sector as well as boost growth, competitiveness and innovation.
The cluster acts hand in hand with its members and collaborating entities to consolidate the strengths of the mining industry at a global level, with special interest in the development of collaborative projects with commercial and institutional partners in the European Union.
The ISMC was founded in 2018, since then, the cluster has expanded its horizon and scope, becoming an effective instrument to promote innovation in the mining sector both nationally and European.
Its activities and services are perfectly aligned with European policies, initiatives and strategies related to resource efficiency, sustainable development and the circular economy. This alignment ensures ISMC’s ability to integrate the Spanish mining industry into global value chains through the development and use of innovative new products, processes and services, particularly in achieving sustainable mining with low environmental impact, in which natural resources are used intelligently and effectively.
Communications Manager: Alicia García López (+34) 987 440 481