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"Increased pace to find critical raw materials"

Published: 11 March 2022

Demand for critical metals for, among other things, batteries is increasing sharply due to electrification and the green transition. A new EU-funded project will develop methods to reduce exploration costs and increase the likelihood of finding new sources of critical raw materials for battery production.

The Exploration Information System (EIS) project has recently received almost SEK 60 million from the Horizon Europe research program. Luleå University of Technology is part of the project with representation from the research subject ore geology, whose share corresponds to approximately SEK 6 million in work effort.

"The formation of ore deposits requires several different ingredients that all need to interplay with each other. Only if all ingredients are present and right an ore deposit can form. With EIS, we will study all of these ingredients and synthesize them in new mineral system models. Furthermore, they will be incorporated in and fast and cost-effective analysis tools for mineral exploration," says Tobias Bauer, Associate Professor in the research subject ore geology at Luleå University of Technology.

The developed methods will reduce the current high exploration costs and increase the probability of finding new sources for critical raw materials for battery production.

"We also want to increase the awareness and trust of the public about the importance of raw materials for a successful transition to a climate-neutral and digitalized economy and society. Furthermore, we will inform the public about how the EU can have a safe, sustainable and responsible supply of raw materials from domestic sources," says Tobias Bauer.

The Horizon Europe project “Exploration Information System – EIS” is a corporation of a pan-European consortium, consisting of 17 partners from research institutes, academia, service providers and industry. The members come from six EU member states plus two overseas countries and cover the main metal producing regions of Europe.

"These areas within the EU have different geology and a great potential for different types of new mineral resources," says Tobias Bauer.

Programmes within the mining and metals area

Tobias Bauer

Tobias Bauer, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 492150
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering