How to unlock the resource potential of undiscovered mineral deposits



Raw materials like nickel are crucial for the production of batteries that are a key technology for low-emission mobility and the circular economy. With the demand for batteries expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, the creation of a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry will be more important than ever. 

The EU-funded INFACT project is addressing this challenge by developing and testing innovative exploration technologies that are also acceptable to society. The project website points to the need to expand exploration opportunities for increasing the reserves of the EU’s strategic minerals. “Chances of exploration discovery will be optimised by encouraging an effective sustainable and active exploration industry made achievable by focusing on the highest priority places (high Critical Raw Material prospectivity; low investment risk).”

The project team has finished its initial trials on three sites in Germany (Geyer) Spain (Cobre Las Cruces Seville and Minas de Ríotinto Huelva) and Finland (Sakatti) according to a news item posted on the ‘Phys.org’ website. In August and early September 2018 the team carried out helicopter flights at all the sites to gain a good geological understanding of the regions. The project will also use airplanes and drones in these regions as explained on the project website. It aims to create a technology certification system. The same news piece adds: “While the project is currently in an early campaigning phase the INFACT team is already planning on how the respective reference sites can contribute to technological progress in the long term.” 

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