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Successful exploration work at Boliden

Published: 1 April 2021

Students from the Master Programme in Natural Resources Engineering, Viktor Grundström Mattsson and Gustav Lood Stark, are currently working on an exciting exploration project for the mining company Boliden. The project has led to the discovery of a new sulphide deposit containing gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead near the township of Boliden in Northern Sweden.

The energy transition that society is facing as a result of climate change requires access to metals for new infrastructure and technological development. Sweden is a leading nation in terms of metal production and exploration in Europe, and in the collaboration between industry and academia in research and education. Two of our students are currently working on an exciting exploration project for the mining company Boliden, which has led to the discovery of an entirely new mineralization. This in turn could lead to the start of a new mine.

"It is fantastic to see our students having active roles in one of Sweden's most exciting and successful exploration projects at the moment, and it shows that our education gives them the right tools to work at the forefront of the value chain. Being part of the discovery of a new mineral deposit is one of the biggest things that can happen for an exploration geologist. Finding new ore deposits is hard and time-consuming, but at the same time the raison d'être of the profession. Three of our former and current students are involved in the team working with the new deposit", says Nils Jansson, associate professor of ore geology at Luleå University of Technology and teacher of the Master Programme in Natural Resources Engineering.

The mineralization was first discovered in drill hole at the end of 2019 and since then the work has been intensified with successful results. In mid-March 2021, Boliden announced the discovery.

- Project leader at Boliden is Jonas Lasskogen, an alumni from our master's program Geoscience who graduated in 2010. Viktor and Gustav are currently doing their degree projects in the master's program Natural Resource Engineering together with Boliden, and have participated in the exploration work and evaluation of the new so-called Strömfors deposit, says Glenn Bark, senior lecturer in ore geology and educational leader for The Master Programme in Natural Resources Engineering and The Master Programme in Exploration and Environmental Geosciences at Luleå University of Technology.

Below we ask some questions to Gustav Lood Stark:

What have you been working on at Boliden?

"I have worked with the mineralogical characterization of the new Strömfors mineralization which Boliden has found. I have done this by using an electron microscope, and I have also been part of a project group that are  evaluating potential beneficiation possibilities for the mineralization. My duties have also involved a lot of lab experiments, from bio-leaching to flotation. To get the chance to work with an entirely new mineralization, which in a few years may become a mine in operation, is big!"

Is this something you want to work with in the future?

"Yes, I would like that. I thrive incredibly well with Boliden as an employer, and get new challenges every other day that helps me develop."

Do you benefit from your education in natural resources engineering?

"I have, I think that the education at Luleå University of Technology gave me a broad base with good knowledge in chemistry, mathematics, ore formation processes and mineralogy. The education gave me opportunities to choose widely between different employers and tasks."

Do you have any advice for those who are considering applying for the program?

"It would be to apply! If you apply, you will receive a world-class education and five years of challenges."

Nils Jansson

Nils Jansson, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491487
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Glenn Bark

Glenn Bark, Senior Lecturer

Phone: +46 (0)920 491039
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering