EU research project METALLICO launched

METALLICO kick-off event in Seville/Spain - G.E.O.S. is partner of the project and contributes process engineering expertise

The European Union funded research project METALLICO "Demonstration of battery metals recovery from primary and secondary resources through a sustainable processing methodology" started in January 2023 with the first project meeting in Seville/Spain. G.E.O.S. is a partner in the project and will primarily contribute process engineering expertise to the project.




The European Union is not exploiting its potential for the production of critical raw materials and special metals. This was already found in the study on the EU list of critical raw materials in 2020. Namely, the study identified the battery sector as a key strategic sector for the EU, as batteries are increasingly used in several important areas such as electromobility.

Globally, these battery metals are mainly located in Chile, Australia, South Africa, China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These non-European deposits are a major supply risk for the EU. For example, for lithium, the EU relies 87% on imports of lithium concentrates and 100% on imports of refined composites.


The METALLICO project

The METALLICO project is about demonstrating the recovery of battery metals from primary and secondary resources through a sustainable processing method.

The project consists of an international strategic consortium along the supply chain. The project consortium includes

  • Mining and industrial sites with primary and secondary sources of critical and battery metals (lithium, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel),
  • Experienced partners to test innovative processes for the production of battery-grade materials,
  • Industrial and SME end-users in the battery, cement, paint and ceramics sectors; and
  • Mining companies and companies building pilot plants for the technology to be implemented.


Over the next 4 years, the consortium within the METALLICO project will work on four case studies within the EU. These include the

  • Extraction of battery-grade lithium carbonate from a primary spodumene/lepidolite/petalite deposit,
  • Recovery of cobalt concentrates and battery-grade cobalt sulphate from secondary mining residues,
  • Recovery of copper, cobalt, manganese and nickel concentrates from metallurgical slag at a lead refinery company
  • and other secondary mining residues.

First of all, laboratory tests will be done. In the next step, pilot trials will follow to show whether the extraction of the critical and important metals is technically feasible and economically viable in the EU.


G.E.O.S. contributes its process engineering expertise

For the upscaling of these newly developed processes for the treatment of primary and secondary raw materials, G.E.O.S. is advising the METALLICO consortium on feasibility. In doing so, the G.E.O.S. staff assesses the devised processes with regard to technical implementation as well as economic efficiency.

More information on the project