Xplorer promotes sustainable mining through research and education, and by helping companies to convert to the circular economy. We unite the experts in mining and make mining an interesting study option for students. 


The cement industry produces 8 % of the world’s carbon emissions, and the supply of sand is running out. We research how sand can be replaced and how millions of tons of industrial waste can be turned into raw materials.
Xplorer is an expert in separation technology, waste treatment and circular economy.


Tailings are produced when you extract a target mineral from ore, and then store the un-used ore and rock in large dams. There are, however, safer technologies to store the waste. At the moment over 71 % of excavated material ends up in a dump. In Finland the amount of mining waste is 76 % of the total amount of waste produced in the country.


Water is critical in mining and in enrichment processes. Particularly in rainy regions, it is important to control the water balance to avoid breaking or overflowing dams. Different water treatment technologies offer new tools for this, tools which assure discharge is as clean as possible.

Carbon dioxide

Direct carbon emissions are fairly low in mining. However, within the industry efforts are underway to lower them even more via electrification of machinery. Mining supports effects vis-à-vis climate by producing metals for batteries, the key product for electrification.


There are over 60 different metals in a smart phone. How and where have they been excavated? 

By studying mining engineering, you can impact how raw materials are being produced. The universities in the Xplorer network offer higher degree education and joint degree programs, and professional continuing education. Together we organize seminars and conferences in the mining sector.

Xplorer has involved in organizing several webinars and seminars, one of which was series of seminars on tailings and how it could be used as a raw material. The seminar had four parts, and it was organized by LUT/Xplorer, University of Oulu, GTK (Geological Survey of Finland) and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland). 

  1. Unlockig the Full Pontential in Circular Minerals - From Tailings to Chemicals and Materials (VTT)
  2. From Tailings to Future Products (LUT University/Xplorer) videot
  3. Rocky Road from Side Streams to Products (Oulu University) videot
  4. Re-mining or Designing Out Waste (GTK)

The seminar series on side streams has led to the Co-Creation project Circular Economy Integrated Mining funded by Business Finland, where the Co-Innovation project is currently being prepared.

Xplorer was the main organizer of the NOFS19 symposium (19th Nordic Filtration Symposium) in 2023, where mining was featured prominently.

The first Xplorer conference will be held in Lappeenranta on June 11-12, 2024.


History as a Unesco Competence Centre

Starting 2020, LUT University has been a Finnish branch of the International Competence Centre for Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of Unesco, using the name Xplorer network. Due to the war in Ukraine in 2022, LUT University and Xplorer network together with other European flagship universities in Germany and Austria have interrupted all cooperation with the Saint Petersburg Mining University, head of the Unesco Centre.
Finnish Xplorer network continues to work as an independent national and international competence centre in mining-engineering. The UN’s sustainable development goals guide our work.