Betolar's strategic focus on mining industry solutions is paying off



Betolar's strategic focus on business opportunities in the mining industry is progressing. The company has agreed on commercial assignments with two mining companies to analyse opportunities and create solutions for low-emission and waste-free mines. The targeted mines are not yet disclosed.

"The projects now agreed demonstrate the growing need for sustainable solutions for the mining and construction industries. By utilising our technology, solutions are created that, for example, can be used as binders and aggregates in concrete construction and paste filling in mine corridors. This will reduce the negative climate impacts of cement use," says Ville Voipio, Chief Commercial Officer at Betolar.

Ongoing research projects investigate the possibilities of reducing the environmental impacts of mines and the commercial usability of side stream materials. For each side stream, design mixes are created that enable their use, for example, as a binder for concrete. Even economically useless side streams can be used to stabilise soil and tailings safely.

The growing need for side stream materials benefits Betolar

The use of side stream materials instead of cement significantly increases the demand for them. With current consumption, replacing cement would require four billion tons of side stream materials globally every year. Standardized side stream materials, blast furnace slag and fly ash, are only available in about a quarter of the quantities needed to replace cement.

In addition, as a result of the green transition, the availability of blast furnace slag and fly ash will decrease significantly in the future. Therefore, new side stream sources must be found. Because the solutions developed by Betolar are responding to the growing need for side streams, the company has directed its strategic focus to business opportunities in the mining industry.

"The growing need and demand for materials required by the green transition of the mining industry will create new global markets for our new product groups. Our ability to analyse mining side streams and create circular economy solutions for mining companies is rapidly expanding our offering. Growth in demand and the effectiveness of our solutions strengthen our growth story," Voipio says.

There is demand for side stream research in the construction industry

In autumn 2023,  Betolar also signed a cooperation agreement with Metso at the end of the year. In the cooperation, Betolar's side stream expertise will be offered to Metso's customers using lithium processes. With Betolar's solutions, mines can reduce carbon emissions, conserve virgin natural resources and strive for zero waste in mines.

"The assignments that have already been gained show that the construction and mining industries are in dire need of new, circular, low-carbon solutions. We are now seeing pressure on the sustainable mining and construction industry, increasing demand for our patented and commercialized solutions. At the moment, side streams that end up as waste can be turned into commercially valuable raw materials and thus reduce the waste load of the mining industry," Voipio says.

Sustainable solutions bring the mining industry back to Europe

In recent decades, industry has been flagged out of EU countries to countries with lower production costs, especially in Asia. The global carbon footprint has not necessarily decreased, although the EU's carbon balance has improved. As a result of flagging out, the mining industry in particular has declined in Europe.

New green transition technology enables more sustainable solutions, that aim for zero waste and low emissions in mines. They benefit climate work on all continents, but the green transition of the mining industry has encouraged the industry to return to Europe.

"The Nordic countries are model countries for the European mining industry in the commercial development of a sustainable mining industry. We want to make our expertise available to mining companies so that metals critical for the green transition can be produced safely and sustainably in the extractive industry," Voipio says.

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