MinExTarget: Enhanced Use of Heavy Mineral Chemistry in Exploration Targeting
Summary: New ore deposits supplying the raw materials for our societies and support the green energy transition are becoming more and more difficult to find. The industry is in need of new tools for exploration, because undiscovered mineral deposits are partly or completely buried and reside deeper in the crust. This also means that exploration in recent years has become less efficient and more expensive. The MinExTarget project aims development and introduction of a new exploration tool which provides better targeting capacities in the early stages of mineral exploration. Recognition and interpretation of geochemical and mineralogical anomalies that have been inherited from primary metallic mineral deposits in sediments is a widely used tool in mineral exploration. The new, innovative concept of the project is that the primary sources of those anomalies can be better targeted and qualified by the determination of associations and concentrations of trace elements together with stable and radiogenic isotope compositions in selected types of heavy mineral grains. This approach is based on the introduction of automated electron-optical and laser ablation inductively couple mass spectroscopic analytical methods into the everyday practice of characterization of heavy mineral separates. The test areas of the project are located in intensely explored terrains with diverse types of metallic mineral deposits in Northern and Eastern Europe, Greenland and Asia. The research will also evaluate how the better knowledge of heavy mineral geochemistry supports characterization of the quality of the predicted ore deposit. The new exploration tool expects widespread use in the exploration industry. Therefore the project also aims to transfer the know-how and technology to SMEs for commercialization of the new exploration tool. Dissemination of results of the project targets the mineral exploration industry but also includes training of university students and young researchers in the field of project-specific analytical and evaluation methods and entrepreneurship in order to support transfer of knowledge to the next generation of experts. The research consortium is led by the Geological Survey of Finland and consists of public research organizations, universities, mineral exploration and consulting SMEs from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Poland.
The project is funded by EIT Raw Materials.
Last updated: 07.05.2020 14:03