In this area, R&D activities are carried out in the fields of extraction, refining and metallic recovery from primary and secondary resources, with a focus on materials for energy technologies, and others considered critical or strategic in the national context (such as lithium) or European context, in line with the principles of sustainable use of resources. The activity involves R&D in the characterization of resources, in the development and optimization of processes and in the design of treatment diagrams, focused on ores and / or residues with metallic content. The use of more environmentally sustainable operations such as hydrometallurgy is always a concern. As relevant examples, it can be highlighted the know-how in the recycling of important flows such as end-of-life batteries, catalysts with platinum-group-metals and wastes containing rare earths.
This competence area is very connected with LNEG activities in the domain of mineral treatment – namely, as complement of the value chain of mineral processing, the metallurgical extraction and refining.