NWE-REGENERATIS - REGENERATIon of Past Metallurgical Sites and Deposits through innovative circularity for raw materials

Project Summary

According to JRC (2013), metal working industry represents 13 % of the 2.5 m Potential Contaminated Sites (PCS) in the EU. Consequently, a significant amount of their produced waste was deposited in landfills (37.2% of all PCS). Assessing these figures reveals approx.100.000 sites with a recovery potential of metals.
While recent metallic waste streams are usually treated, older waste (aggregated material with high ferrous metal content, scrap, other metals, white and black slags and other streams) are considered as a source of pollution, expensive to manage/eliminate. REGENERATIS aims to transform this problem into an opportunity, as large volumes of resources (metals, materials & land) from Past Metallurgical Sites and Deposits (PMSD) can be recovered by urban-mining. In order to implement this in NWE, REGENERATIS tackles the sectoral and contextual barriers. The main challenge for stakeholders is the environmental risk&the profitability of recovery processes. Currently all PMSD are managed within a remediation strategy focused on environmental impact/risk. In NWE region PCS inventories are inadequate, as they lack relevant data on the economic potential (quantity, quality & materials value). Traditional exploration methods are not focused on raw materials recovery.
REGENERATIS delivers an evidence-based solution implemented & tested on 3 sites (including innovative characterization by geophysics, innovative recovery processes guidance, artificial intelligence algorithm), promotes an Harmonized Inventory Structure, and supports new business models for resource recovery from PMSD, by using open source 4D Smart Tool (SMARTIX). Impact is guaranteed by long-term involvement of all REGENERATIS partners/ associated partners to convince stakeholders. Beneficiaries are public&private PMSD owners, managers&operators.10 years after:  60 raw materials recovery projects  launched on PMSD throughout NWE, 3 m t of valuable materials recovered & 3000 jobs created.

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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Société Publique d'Aide à la Qualité de l'Environnement 38 Bd. d'Avroy
c.neculau@spaque.be www.spaque.be
Name Contact Name Email Country
Materials Processing Institute Alan Scholes alan.scholes@mpiuk.com United Kingdom
Centre Technologique International de la Terre et de la Pierre Antoine Masse antoine.masse@ctp.be Belgium
Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières Jean-Christophe Gourry jcgourry@brgm.eu France
Université de Liège Frederic Nguyen f.nguyen@uliege.be Belgium
IXSANE Tristan Debuigne Tristan.debuigne@ixsane.com France
Openbare Vlaamse Afvalstoffenmaatschappij Kris van Looy kris.van.looy@ovam.be Belgium
TEAM2 Moïse Vouters m.vouters@team2.fr France
Technische Hochschule Köln Christian Wolf christian.wolf@th-koeln.de Germany
Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband (BAV) Pascal Beese-Vasbender pbv@bavmail.de Germany
Cranfield University Stuart Wagland s.t.wagland@cranfield.ac.uk United Kingdom


(FR & GB) Workshop BRACA « NWE-REGENERATIS et la reconversion des sites métallurgiques »

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(FR) Les partenaires du projet ont organisé un workshop le 16 septembre dernier dans les locaux de la SPAQuE à Liège (BELGIQUE) avec les membres de BRACA brownfieldacademy, actifs dans la dépollution des sols, l’aménagement des territoires et du secteur de la construction. L’objectif visé a été de concilier les points de vue des deux parties, animées par l’ambition commune de convertir les terrains pollués en nouvelles opportunités territoriales. (GB) The project partners organised a workshop on 16 September at the SPAQuE offices in Liège (BELGIUM) with the members of BRACA brownfieldacademy, who are active in soil remediation, spatial planning and the construction sector. The objective was to reconcile the points of view of both parties, driven by the common ambition to convert polluted land into new territorial opportunities. Read More

Geophysical and lab investigations in progress on the former metallurgical site of Pompey in Lorraine (France)

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After the DUFERCO steelmaking site in Wallonia (Belgium) a few months earlier, it is now up to the Pompey pilot site (France), managed by the EPFGE (Etablissement Public Foncier de Grand Est), to welcome a team from the European INTERREG NWE-REGENERATIS project. In a circular economy mindset, the objective of this project is to determine the potential of past metallurgical sites by means of geophysical investigations to recover materials of interest present in their soil. Some samples have been taken for characterization and to carry out some lab tests (mineral processing and eco-catalyst). Read More


Demonstration and Site Visits - 08 December 2021


On December 8, 2021, the partners of NWE - REGENERATIS organized 2 visits to pilot sites of the project and a demonstration of the geophysical method. The visits took place at the Vieille Montagne (post-metallurgical site) and STPI (depository) - additional pilot sites in the Walloon region, Belgium. Le 8 décembre 2021, les partenaires de NWE - REGENERATIS ont organisés 2 visites de sites pilotes du projet et une démonstration de méthode géophysiques. Les visites ont eu lieu sur les sites de Vieille Montagne (site post-métallurgique) et STPI (dépôt) - sites pilotes supplémentaires en Région wallonne, Belgique.
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Conférence Pollutec : Nouvelles perspectives pour la valorisation de matériaux sur les anciens sites sidérurgiques

, Pollutec, Lyon

Les partenaires dans le projet NWE-REGENERATIS ont le plaisir à vous inviter à la conférence « Nouvelles perspectives pour la valorisation de matériaux sur les anciens sites sidérurgiques ». Développé dans le cadre du programme européen Interreg Europe du Nord-Ouest, NWE – REGENERATIS (REGENERATIon et Réhabilitation de sites post-métallurgiques par la récupération de ressources) concerne la récupération des matériaux et métaux sur les anciens sites sidérurgiques favorisant ainsi la diminution de leurs coûts de réhabilitation. Son but final est la conception et la mise en place d’un nouveau modèle économique, facile à mettre en application par les sociétés privées et publiques, permettant la réintégration de matières premières et de terrains dans l’économie régionale.
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2021-09-28&29 - Terre & Eau : Solutions innovantes dans le monde de la construction 2021

, 100 % virtuel

Le 28 et 29 septembre dernier, s’est tenu les journées « Terre & Eau : Solutions innovantes dans le monde de la construction 2021 ». Parmi les différents intervenants, Dr Claudia Neculau (SPAQUE- Partenaire Leader du projet NWE-REGENARATIS) est intervenue afin de présenter les perspectives et méthodologies de valorisation des sites contaminés à travers les principes de l’économie circulaire.
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Join the Group of stakeholders and/or subscribe to the NWE-REGENERATIS Newsletter

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Here you will find all the newsletters of the project. 

Newsletter N°8 - June 2023

To have access to the first 6 newsletters please contact : Lise Debruyne

Here you will find communication elements of the project. 


Consult the e-library


NWE-REGENERATIS Open Access Platform

NWE-REGENERATIS intends to create a powerful interaction between stakeholders who initiate resource recovery driven projects from past metallurgical sites and deposits. NWE-REGENERATIS fosters the visibility of private/public owners of PMSD and the soil remediation and materials recovery sector. Therefore, NWE-REGENERATIS offers an Open Access Platform, which is especially addressed to site owners and site managers, environmental service providers and valorisation providers as well as other interested stakeholders to boost the regeneration of past metallurgical sites and deposits. On the Open Access Platform stakeholders can provide information as well as learn about sites, environmental services and valorisation technologies.


Are you interested in initiating resource recovery or remediation projects and want to learn more about raw materials recovery from PMSD? Please subscribe to the NWE-REGENERATIS Open Access Platform here.


NWE-SMARTX is an open source application based on artificial intelligence that suggests innovative valorization paths for the materials present on former metallurgical sites and deposits; the valorised materials can be: minerals, metals and eco-catalysts.


Objective: give technical recommendations for valorisation based on the site and material characteristics

Content: 5 distinct predictive modules have been developed: Geophysics, Metals, Minerals, Excavation, and Eco-catalysis

These modules recommend to the user:

  • Geophysical methods that can be applied in order to gain better knowledge of the volume and location of residues on the metallurgical sites (Geophysics),
  • Civil engineering methods aiming to optimize the excavation and pre-treatment of materials (Excavation),
  • Valorisation methods based on site characteristics, material volumes, and types of materials present on site (Mineral, Metal, Eco-catalyst).



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