Mercury Technological Centre
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The situation set by the adoption of the European Mercury Strategy proposed by the European Commission in January 2005, and the resolution on it by the European Parliament, will set as necessary to have appropriated installations to store the quantities of mercury metal that be into the European Union territories after the export ban entry in force. So far, it seems to be justified to understand that a technical, safe and ecologically appropriated for that storage will be needed since 2011 onward.

Understanding that will be an exigency to store the mercury under safe conditions, under a permanent vigilance system, and with possibilities of a rapid intervention if needed, this project has as main target to design and built a prototype of storage and it validation to cover the future storage requirements.Thus, the pretended main target of this project will use the expertise on handling and storage of mercury of Minas de Almaden S.A. and using the current and in use installations at the Las Cuevas mercury warehouse at Almaden.

As essential target of this project is declared the safe design, construction and validation of a prototype of storage that reach the pretended conditions of Zero emissions after closure, minimising the emissions during operation and the design of active and passive safety barriers and a permanent vigilance program. To develop a plan for a rapid intervention if needed will be develop also.

The conclusions from this project can be used as base to develop measures and recommendations to be used as safety requirements for the storage conditions consequence of the implementation of this new policy on mercury at the European Union.

Assuming that those installations of storage are temporal only (30 / 50 years), and in line with the Strategy, we have included a line of work that look for a the development of a stabilisation technique for mercury metal and mercury containing materials to render into more stable chemical species.


Project stages

  • Evaluation of the current situation.
  • Supervision of Hg emissions and procedures and control of the current facilities at Almaden.
  • Analysis of the materials currently used for storage: tanks, containers, pipes, pumping systems.
  • Selection of materials and optimisation of the design and working parameters for the container and storage.
  • Safety requirements.
  • Construction of the design facility. Start-up, control and approval.
  • Project management.
  • Development of a process for the stabilisation of mercury.
  • Diffusion of the results.
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