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2021 SUMA
Summer School

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Atlantic Copper Chair SUMA Summer School, 5-7 July 20201, online

The SUMA Summer school 2021 is organized by Universidad Politecnic de Madrid and Atlantic Copper. Atlantic Copper is a Spanish Company whose sole shareholder is the US global conglomerate Freeport-McMoran, one of the leading natural resources companies in the United States that produces copper, gold and molybdenum. Their main base of activity is in the Huelva Metallurgy Complex, which produces high-grade refined copper from ore mined in several places around the world. The production plant is formed by the smelter (producing anodes), and the refinery (producing cathodes), and three sulfur acid plants.

The focus of the summer school will be two fold:

Day 1 – Introductory lectures to raw materials, mining and Spanish Pyrite Belt.

Day 2-3 – virtual visit to Atlantic Copper Plant which will include lectures about copper metallurgy, presentation of Atlantic Copper work flow and process control; career talks and career advice from Atlantic Copper experts; meeting with Atlantic Copper CEO.

Target group

SUMA students and all interested students in Copper Metallurgy.

The details


5- 7 July, 20201


online via ZOOM


Atlantic Copper, Universidad Politecnic de Madrid and EIT Raw Materials SUMA Master programmes


KU Leuven

Entry Requirements

We invite students interested in the field of materials engineering and copper metallurgy to apply for the Summer School.

Potential candidates are requested to fill out the application form and to provide any relevant documentation. The documents to be included in the application are:
CV (maximum of two A4 pages) (mandatory)
A short motivation letter (why the participant wishes to be part of the Summer School and what are the expectations)



Day 1 – 5th July

10:00 – 10:15. Welcome

Dr. Francisco Javier Elorza. Dean of the Madrid Higher Technical School of Mines and Energy Engineering

10:15 – 11:15. Geology of natural mineral resources. The Iberian Pyrite Belt

ØDr. Fernando Tornos. Geosciences Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

11:15 -11:30. Break

11:30 – 12:30. Sustainable Raw Materials Industry

Dr. Vicente Gutiérrez. President CONFEDEM (National Confederation of Mining & Metallurgical Businesses)

12:30 – 13:30. Natural mineral resources – Mining

Dr. Juan Herrera. Madrid Higher Technical School of Mines and Energy Engineering (UPM)

Day 2 -6th July

09:00 – 10:00. Welcome to Atlantic Copper

Mr. Carlos Ortiz. SVP Metallurgy, Atlantic Copper

10:15 – 11:00. Sustainability

Mrs. Esther Alonso. SVP Energy Transition and Sustainability, Atlantic Copper

11:00 – 12:30. ATLANTIC COPPER Work & Flow virtual Tour

Dr. Ismael Pérez. Smelter Operations Services Manager

12:30 – 12:45. Break

12:45 – 13:45. Copper Metallurgy

ØDr. Guillermo Ríos. Technology and Innovation Director, Atlantic Copper

13:45 – 16:00. Lunch Break

16:00 -17:15. Unique technical careers

Mrs. Irene Ruiz. R&D Manager, Atlantic Copper

Mr. Antonio Martín. Converter Section Operations Manager, Atlantic Copper

17:15 – 17:30. Break

17:30 – 18:30. Social activity. Spanish Omelette course

Day 3 – 7th July

09:00 – 10:00. Atlantic Copper CirCular Project

Mr. José Miguel Quintana. Planning and Control Director, Atlantic Copper

10:00 – 11:00. Process Control at Atlantic Copper

ØMr. Francisco Jiménez. Chief Metallurgist, Atlantic Copper

11:15 -11:30. Break

11:15 – 12:00. Career Orientation at Atlantic Copper

Mrs. Sol Villar. SVP Organization & Human Resources, Atlantic Copper

12:00 – 12:45. “Talk to the CEO and Closure”

Prof. Javier Targhetta. President, Atlantic Copper & SVP Marketing & Sales, Freeport-McMoRan


The Summer School is organised by the EIT RawMaterials project IMAGINE. Should you have any further question, please contact the education manager Katarzyna Janusz (katarzyna.janusz@kuleuven.be).

As the summer school will be held virtually, there is no funding available.

The ZOOM links will be provided to participants a few days in advance.

Travel & Accommodation

More information will follow.

Reflections on Summer School 2018: “To mine or not to mine?”

On September 10-12, 2018, the Summer School “To mine or not to mine – A multi-criteria assessment of the landfill mining of municipal and industrial solid waste deposits” took place in Leuven, Belgium. The summer school was a joint initiative of the EU Horizon 2020 ETN NEW-MINE and ETN SOCRATES projects, in collaboration with the EIT RawMaterials IMAGINE programme. 43 MSc/PhD students and professionals of 23 different nationalities participated. Here we reflect on three days of interactive sessions, learning about multi-criteria assessment of landfill mining and resource recovery projects (LM, 11/10/2018)

Summer school group photo 2

Background for Summer School

Resource scarcity, climate change and increased pressure on environment and health necessitate the transition from a fossil-based, linear economy to a low-carbon, circular economy.  What was considered as waste in the past, becomes a resource for tomorrow. Increasing attention is given to the possibility of mining and/or reprocessing of municipal and industrial solid waste deposits (see ELFM-video April 2018). But is it really feasible to mine these secondary deposits? Do we have the appropriate technology? Is it economically feasible to do this? Does the mining of these deposits indeed contribute to a safer environment and health situation? Does it lead to a new CO2 reductions? And do people want a mining project “in their backyard”?

The Summer School aimed at offering an integral approach for the assessment of landfill mining projects, going beyond technical assessment, offering an approach to determine the value of landfill mining from an economic, environmental, social, policy and business perspective. In three sessions, the participants were trained in different aspects of the assessment of ELFM projects.

Session 1 – “Multi-criteria assessment of Enhanced Landfill Mining Projects – An interdisciplinary training programme for ELFM projects”

This session was organised by the NEW-MINE project, focussing on municipal solid waste containing landfills and applying concepts being developed within the project by the PhD students In an introductory lecture, Karel Van Acker (KU Leuven, Belgium) introduced the requirement of a holistic approach to decide on a particular landfill management type.

For the assessment of landfill mining case-studies, three scenarios were introduced, being a (1) “do-nothing scenario”, i.e. no landfill mining, combined with mitigating the impact of a landfill through permanent monitoring of surface and ground water combined with water treatment and gas capturing; (2) Classic remediation, i.e., excavation of a landfill combined with re-landfilling in a sanitary landfill and/or incineration of the light fraction of the landfill; (3) Enhanced Landfill Mining – as studied in the NEW-MINE project, in which mining is combined with the aim of maximising recovery of resources from the landfill.

Following the introductory lecture, different aspects of the assessment were introduced. Steven Van Passel (University of Antwerp and Hasselt University, Belgium) introduced the techno-economic assessment of landfill mining projects, while Niclas Svensson (Linköping University, Sweden), introduced the life-cycle assessment of landfill mining projects. Subsequently, Johan Springael. (University of Antwerp, Belgium) gave an introduction to Multicriteria Decision Analysis, in which techno-economic, environmental and socio-economic aspects (including the so-called social licence to operate) are combined to come to motivate a decision on which landfill management approach to select.

Session 2 – “Industrial flowsheeting and thermo-economic assessment”

Session 2 was organised by the SOCRATES project. SOCRATES studies the development of near-zero waste processes for the recycling of low-grade metal containing industrial waste streams, such as bottom ashes, copper tailings and slags and sludges from the non-ferrous industry, commonly deposited in industrial landfills and tailing ponds. Markus Reuter and Alejandro Abadias (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany) illustrated how novel near-zero waste flowsheets for the treatment of these residues are assessed within the SOCRATES project. Focus of the session was on the primary copper production flowsheet (from rock to metal), in which two scenarios were compared, being production of copper without treatment of wastes and with additional metal recovery from wastes (slags and drosses). The analysis was performed through composing a mass and energy balance of the flowsheet and performing an exergy analysis and life cycle assessment.

Session 3 – “From the lab to the market, business development & commercialisation”

The third and final Session focussed on the steps to be taken to evolve from a lab invention to a commercial product. Two lectures were given: one by Christina Meskers (Umicore, Belgium) on the upscaling of technology throughout different technology readiness levels and the associated business case assessment at each upscaling step; A second lecture was given by Nicolas Menou (EIT RawMaterials, Belgium), focussing on creation of a start-up to exploit novel technology.

In the second part of the session, students were challenged to draft a pitch on the commercialisation of 2 technologies selected from the SOCRATES and NEW-MINE projects. For each technology, 4 groups competed for the best company idea. Two groups were selected as winners; i.e. the company “Rotten Tomatoes”, exploiting sensor-based sorting technology from the NEW-MINE project for sorting of tomatoes, and the group InCLeach, exploiting chloride leaching technology from the SOCRATES project for the near zero-waste recycling of low-grade residues.


  • The NEW-MINE project has received funding from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 721185.
  • The SOCRATES project has received funding from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 721385.
  • The EIT RawMaterials IMAGINE programme received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.


Please send your application via the application portal

Application deadline: June 20, 2021

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