Portugal participates in pioneering project

| 19 Março de 2015

Under the Horizon 2020 programme

Portugal participates in pioneering €12.6M project for the underwater exploration of terrestrial mines

INESC TEC, Minerália and EDM are the three Portuguese partners in this European project.

Under the Horizon 2020 programme, Portugal takes part in a pioneering project in the amount of €12.6M, for the underwater exploration of terrestrial mines, which will represent an opportunity to explore the wealth of underwater mineral resources in Europe. The ¡VAMOS! Research & Development (R&D) project (Viable Alternative Mine Operating System), which began last February, will have a duration of 42 months and involves three partners in Portugal, INESC TEC (INESC Tecnologia e Ciência), Minerália and Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (EDM).
The goal of ¡VAMOS! is to develop a robotic prototype for underwater exploration, as well as associated launching and collection equipment, which will be used to carry out tests on mineral deposits at four different sites within the European Union. Of the four sites, three are submerged mineral deposits on land and the fourth is in the sea.
The prototype is based on deep sea mining techniques, as a result of which it will ensure a safer and more environmentally friendly option for the economic recovery of mineral deposits that are not currently exploitable by means of traditional methods.
“On the one hand, the role of INESC TEC in this project will consist of improving perception, navigation, positioning and spatial awareness technologies in underwater environments, and secondly, ensuring an integrated solution for monitoring, in real time, parameters associated with an environmental impact”, said Eduardo Silva, person in charge of ¡VAMOS! from INESC TEC.
EDM and Minerália are responsible for providing access to two of the test sites in a submersed terrestrial environment in Portugal.

This project receives funding from the H2020 EU research and development programme, under agreement no 642477.

Under the coordination of the BMT Group Ltd and technical management of Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd, the project boasts a consortium of 17 partners belonging to nine European countries – INESC TEC, Minerália Lda and Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro SA  (Portugal), Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd, Fugro EMU Limited, Marine Minerals Ltd (United Kingdom), Damen Shipyards Group and Trelleborg Ede Bv (Netherlands), Zentrum für Telematik eV and Sandvik Mining and Construction GmbH (Germany), Montanuniversität Leoben (Austria), Geological Survey of Slovenia (Slovenia), La Palma Research Centre for Future Studies (Spain), European Federation of Geologists (Belgium), Federalni zavod za Geologijo e Fondacija za obnovu I razvoj regije Vareš (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

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