First Annual Report – Project REEScue

Place: Tulcea – Romania



Results and progress – ERANET-ERAMIN 3 – REEScue : Integrated process for the recovery of Rare Earth Elements and Scandium from Bauxite Residues


The work schedule for project REESCUE is under way as the consortium agreement has been finalized and signed by all partners. The Kick-off Meeting,  and Plenary Meetings went according to schedule.

The first completed step has been the sampling and characterization of bauxite residues (BR). Data shows that in the studied BR samples, the most present rare earth elements are Ce, Y, La, Sc and Nd.

The second work package included studies done by National Technical University, on both hydrothermal treatment  and magnetic separation. According to the results, a successful conversion of hematite to magnetite after hydrothermal treatment and the dissolution of aluminum phases, calcite and cancrinite during hydrothermal treatment have both been proven. Moreover, regarding magnetic separation, several tests have been conducted  by studying crucial parameters like field intensity, pulp density, flow rate and size distribution.  It has been found that the mass yield of the magnetic fraction increases by increasing the field intensity. No significant difference in the composition of magnetic and non magnetic fractions was observed.

The third work package involved direct leaching of BR samples, under pressure, with HCl and H2SO4. Two important results have been obtained. The first is that La and Nd, as well as Sc and Y have similar behaviors towards leaching. The second is that all the target elements can be extracted with HCl, whereas only Sc is dissolved with H2SO4, proving that the process can be submitted to selective extraction.

Work packages no. 4 and 5, are set to begin in May 2022, after completing all tasks and gathering all conclusions from the previous packages. Work package 6 and 7 will begin soon after the completion of work packages 4 and 5.

Regarding work package 8, Dissemination – Exploitation of project results, NTUA participated in the International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy RawMat2021 with a paper, accompanied by a presentation, entitled: “Preliminary characterization of 3 Metallurgical Bauxite Residue samples”. Also, an official website for project REESCUE has been released –


The  REEScue project is supported by grants provided by:


  • General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) from Greece for National Technical University of Athens NTUA and Mytilineos SA
  • Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi and ETI Aluminyum A.S.
  • Executive Unit for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI) from Romania for ALUM



Prof. IOANNIS PASPALIARIS – Project Coordinator

Address: School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering Iroon Polytechniou 9 str., GR15773 Zografou Campus, Athens, Greece