AVANTIS EU-funded project

Start date: 1 January 2024 - End date: 31 December 2027

Sustainable, Decarbonised Co-Extraction Of Vanadium And Titanium Minerals From Europe’s Low-Grade Vanadium-Bearing Titanomagnetite Deposits


KU Leuven (Belgium)


The European Commission’s Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act sets multiple benchmarks for reducing Europe’s dependency on a few unlike-minded third countries for strategic/critical raw materials. Through the domestic extraction of two CRMs – “vanadium” (V) and “titanium metal” (Ti metal) – AVANTIS addresses the first target of the Act (> 10% domestic extraction, for V & Ti).

AVANTIS’ rationale lies in the fact that Europe has a multitude of unexploited, low-grade V-bearing titanomagnetite deposits in Finland, Sweden, Greenland, Norway, Poland, Ukraine etc. However, these deposits have a complex “spiderweb-like” mineral assemblage. Without selective blasting, selective fragmentation and pre-concentration technologies to separate the Ti-rich ilmenite grains from the V-bearing magnetite, it is uneconomic to exploit these deposits.

Supported by a bespoke forensic geometallurgy approach, AVANTIS develops a novel selective blasting approach that allows for rock excavation in view of increased mineral liberation at the blasting stage, and reduced energy demand in the crushing & grinding stages. Likewise, AVANTIS designs tailored, water-free and water-lean pre-concentration technologies that allow to produce two distinct pre-concentrates [(1) ilmenite-rich, Ti-pre-concentrate and (2) ilmenite-free, V-pre-concentrate]. The water-lean method is also tailored to process V/Ti-bearing mining wastes from historical/on-going operations. The resulting flowsheets have a low net water consumption (> 70% water recycling) and reduced GHG intensity of extraction (reduction of 60–700 g CO2, equivalent per t ore hauled to the crushing plant). A preliminary analysis of the potential European reserves that are unlocked, yields a total of 154 Mt Ti & 3.5 Mt V (still excluding Ukraine), to be compared with current levels of EU consumption (1.5 Mt/y Ti; 12.7 kt/y V). AVANTIS strengthens the “responsible mining in Europe”-paradigm, increasing society’s trust in domestic CRM production.


To help achieve the benchmark of 10% domestic extraction in the EU’s CRMA, AVANTIS will develop a low-carbon, multi-metal extraction approach for Europe’s low-grade under/unexploited, vanadium-bearing titanomagnetite (Ti-V-Fe-(P)) deposits (and mining wastes) in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Poland and Ukraine. This novel “responsible mining” approach will extract two key CRMs V and Ti as pre-concentrates, which can be further processed by the relevant downstream industries to high-purity materials, e.g., VRFB, Ti-V alloy. AVANTIS will also impact on the co-extraction of light rare earths and phosphorus from the rare-earth containing apatite concentrate.

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