The power of cooperation

Digi-Raw: The Magnificent seven of the future of mining

Both efficiency and effectiveness lie in collaboration. The best way forward is when we unite and work together. That is exactly the reason why seven European Commission-funded projects in the field of mining (MASTERMINE, DigiEcoQuarry, illuMINEation, SUMEX, ROBOMINERS, Dig_IT, and Rotate) have assembled Digi-Raw, a compelling cluster formed to expand the impact of their work, streamline research, spark innovation, and build enduring partnerships.


Collaborative knowledge hub with shared objectives
Robust networks for enduring collaborations
Efficient research through insight exchange
Wider project findings dissemination
Innovative, sustainable solutions

Dig_IT is a Horizon 2020 funded project that will address the needs of the mining industry to move forward towards a sustainable use of resources while keeping people and environment at the forefront of their priorities. In order to achieve its objective, Dig_IT proposes the development of a smart Industrial Internet of Things platform (IIoTp) that will improve the efficiency, safety and sustainability of mining operations by connecting cyber and physical systems. The platform will collect data from sensors at 3 levels: (i) human, (ii) assets, (iii) environment and will also incorporate both real time and historical market data.

Europe urgently needs to reduce its import dependency in respect to a multitude of raw materials. To do so, Europe’s mining industry must completely redesign the process of traditional mining via the adoption of pioneering innovations, accompanied by extensive use of data analytics and new types of industrial IoT (IIoT). The EU-funded illuMINEation project will highlight significant aspects of digitalisation in underground mining activities to achieve the highest possible levels of safety, and environmental and economic performance. The project will establish a robust multi-level distributed IIoT platform based on extensive sensor networks featuring wireless communication capabilities. Advanced user interfaces, dashboards, and AR/VR applications will allow for an optimized information flow. A rigorous cybersecurity approach will ensure that all data is properly protected.

ROBOMINERS is a project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°820971). This Project is developing a bio-inspired, modular and reconfigurable robot-miner for small and difficult to access deposits. The aim is to create a prototype robot that is capable of mining underground which will facilitate EU access to mineral raw materials including those that are considered as strategic or critical for the energy transition.

ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics. The robot miner will especially be relevant for mineral deposits that are small or difficult to access. This covers both abandoned, nowadays flooded mines, that are not accessible anymore for conventional mining techniques, or places that have formerly been explored but whose exploitation was considered as uneconomic due to the small size of the deposits or the difficulty to access them.

SUMEX is a H2020 Horizon project. The project supports the set-up of a European sustainability framework to improve the permitting procedure along the extractive value chain (prospecting, exploration, extraction, processing, closure, post-closure activities), to guarantee timely decisions, a transparent governmental regulatory regime, appealing financial and administrative conditions and sustainable natural environmental and social conditions. The main mission of SUMEX is to assist policymakers and other stakeholders in seizing this opportunity. To foster more, but sustainable mineral production in the EU, SUMEX will establish a sustainability framework for the extractive industry in Europe. It does so by considering the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal, as well as EU Social License to Operate considerations and will involve stakeholders from industry, government, academia and civil society backgrounds from all across the EU.

MASTERMINE aspires to become the go-to ecosystem for mines that envision digitalisation, environmental sustainability, productivity monitoring, and public acceptance within their strategic goals. The focus will be on an Industrial Metaverse (ΙΜ) approach to build a digitalized copy of a real-world mine.

The project will demonstrate its applicability in 4 EU demo cases and one replication demo in South Africa. Our mining partners offer access to a total of 10 mines around Europe, producing 10 different raw materials, including 4 CRMs (Cobalt, Coking Coal, Phosphate Rock, and Platinum).

ROTATE is a Horizon Europe-funded project that aims to provide environmental solutions that will contribute to facilitating the generation of synergies between diverse industrial sectors related to mining and quarrying. ROTATE goals are the following: to boost efficiency in extractive sites, enhance circularity and waste valorization, develop sustainable processes along the mining and quarrying productive chain, and improve social awareness about the importance of this strategic sector and its commitment to sustainability. In fulfilling these goals, ROTATE also seeks to ensure a sustainable supply of critical raw materials crucial for the EU industry.

DIGIECOQUARRY is a H2020 Project addressing the topic C5-10-2019-2020, which will exploit the aggregates industry´s great potential for change and development through a coordinated approach towards construction materials management with the final goal of reducing EU external supply dependency as well as leading an efficient use of resources. The project will develop systems, technology, and processes for integrated digitization and automation and a real-time process control to be tested in 5 EU quarries. DEQ will also develop an innovative Intelligent Quarrying System that will increase the sustainable supply of minerals for the construction sector as well as enable the sustainable extraction of EU´s mineral resources in existing and new quarries.