ReCalc – Industrial carbonates as a byproduct from the Garpenberg mine


Christina Wahhainen




Purpose and goal

There is a need to define alternative sources of industrial lime in Sweden. In this feasibility study, we will examine the conditions for the extraction of industrial lime as a by-product from one of Sweden´s underground mines. Previous research has shown that high-quality marble is found in the side rock of a sulphide ore, but it is incompletely characterized and the purpose of the feasibility study is to collect more data on the lime´s distribution and composition, and to map possible characterization and enrichment processes, to form the basis for designing a full-scale project.

Expected results and effects

In addition to the fact that high-quality lime can require a high market value, its extraction would provide several environmental benefits. It would reduce the amount of mining waste through valorisation, and allow part of the lime requirement to be met from an already industrialized underground environment rather than from new quarries. If the feasibility study shows a marble of the right quality and wide distribution, a full-scale project will be designed together with mining companies and buyers of industrial lime.

Planned approach and implementation

Phase 1 involves a characterization campaign with re-classification of carbonate rocks into subcategories better reflecting brightness, texture, color and compositional purity. Petrographic and lithogeochemical analysis will be performed. Phase 2 involves mineral processing tests and processing flowsheet development in order to define the appropriate processing route for carbonates. Phase 3 involves the key deliverable of a flow-chart of all steps involved in characterization and processing of carbonate rocks in the sulphide mine and form a basis for a scoping study.