Spectroscopic quantification of critical minerals and applications for exploration and mining

Publicerad: 11 januari 2016

Coordinator: University of Oulu

Participants:
University of Copenhagen

Specim Imaging Ltd

University of Oslo

Yara Finland Oy

Technical University of Luleå

National Research Council Canada

Geological Survey of Finland

Technical Research Centre of Finland

Summary

The Preparatory project addresses the production shortfall of critical metals and environmental challenges in the mining sector by the use of the novel combination of optical mineral characterization tools connected to the Science Based Calibration (SBC) method. The envisaged results will allow near real-time online mineralogical analysis thus enabling the adjustment of the process in real-time. This is an essential tool for mining companies to optimize their mining processes from exploration and drilling phase to the end product quality, and to reduce significantly the amount of chemicals, consumables and waste during the mining activities as well as improve their profitability. In addition, this new method can also provide the essential mineralogical information during drilling process and to help avoid transportation of ground side rocks and therefore enhance the substantial reduction to the energy consumption of transportation, crushing and grinding stages. The need for the quantitative analysis is increasing, since the ores are to be poorer and more complicated in their mineralogy and content of valuables. Spectroscopic quantification enables e.g. fast three dimensional modelling of ore bodies. The project will strengthen the collaboration of mineralogy in Scandinavia as it is a discipline way below critical mass, and is particularly important for understanding critical material deposits.

 

The Preparatory project was targeted for the calls Mineral resources and material substitution research programme, Academy of Finland (closed 30th September 2014 and 12th February 2015) and EU Horizon 2020 programme: Growing a Low Carbon, Resource Efficient Economy with a Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials (closed 21st April 2015). The Academy call had two stages and the project passed the first stage in December 2014. Unfortunately the project was dismissed for the first standby position in the final stage June 2015. The time was too limited to prepare and leave the Horizon application. We had difficulties in getting partners outside Scandinavian countries. It seems also that the economic situation in mining industry was not suitable for devoting new innovations.