Ivan Korolev

Ivan Korolev
Outotec & Aalto University

My name is Ivan, I am the ESR 6 and I am Russian mining engineer. As many of you may know, my homeland is pretty rich in natural resources, such as oil, diamonds, metal ores. I am myself coming from a small mining town in Siberia, so my choice of profession was of a little surprise.

During the studies in Kuzbass State Technical University, I was focusing mostly on coal mining and processing, as this was the most abundant mineral resource in my region. However, already in the course of my undergraduate studies I have realized that coal use in the world is decreasing from year to year due to raising environmental concerns and strong orientation of the society towards sustainable energy sources.

That is why, soon after receiving my BEng, I decided to make a shift in my area of expertise and fortunately I got the opportunity to continue my education with an Erasmus Mundus Master Course in Georesources EngineeringEMerald. The driving force behind this master program is the concept of geometallurgy, which combines ore geology, mining, metallurgy and recycling. These two years were demanding as much as they were rewarding after all. The challenges I faced, like moving from one country to another every six months, or need to work in a diverse multicultural groups, helped to my personal growth. As for my professional viewpoints, I became confident that people should more carefully treat available natural resources and look for improved technologies of metal recovery and recycling instead of digging more holes in the Earth’s face and turning it into moonscape.

The European countries have inherited a massive legacy from centuries of the mining and metallurgical activities carried on their territories represented as a large quantity of industrial waste. Back then, even the best available technologies did not let to fully extract valuable components, leaving some amount of them in process residues. Under the threat of resource scarcity, these rejects shall be turned into a source of critical metals, if the efficient recovery method is discovered.

My current research is devoted to the development of such process for selective electrowinning of valuable metals from complex solutions. I am delighted to have on my side the leading technology provider for metal industry, Outotec Oy, and enthusiastic result-driven research group of Hydrometallurgy and Corrosion from the Aalto University. This work is indeed just a small piece in bigger canvas of the SOCRATES project, but I strongly believe that together with my 15 colleagues in this project we can offer fresh insights to sustainable use of Earth’s resources.

Should you have further interest in my current research project or just want to have a discussion about current state of mining and metallurgical industry worldwide, feel free to drop a couple of lines to : korolev.ivan@inbox.ru