New innovation project supported by EIT RawMaterials will bring better assessments of undiscovered mineral resources
Having a reliable information concerning the locations and the amounts of undiscovered mineral resources is important for investment decisions by exploration and mining companies and for the political and the administrative decision-making process concerning land-use planning.
The current state-of-the-art method for this purpose – the ‘three-part method’– was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The method is based on the integration of expert evaluation and statistical data analysis. However, the three-part method has several shortcomings and requires quite a lot of manual work. For these reasons, the user base of the method and software has remained limited and mainly consists of a limited number of Geological Survey organisations.
The MAP project will now address the need for upgrading and enhancement of the whole assessment method, process and software. The new assessment process will be based on the integration of mineral prospectivity modelling tools into the three-part method. The assessment process will be implemented in the new MAP software, which will guide the user through the whole assessment and ensure the smooth transfer of data from one part of the process to the next. The new software will produce quantitative probabilistic estimates of the total amount of metals in undiscovered mineral deposits of selected types in particular geologically defined areas (permissive tracts).
The developed process and software will be thoroughly tested in several countries and on the Arctic deep ocean floor. These tests will provide valuable new information on the locations and amounts of undiscovered mineral resources in these areas. Because the deployment of the new MAP software will increase knowledge of undiscovered mineral resources, it will help the industry to concentrate on the environmentally and socially most sustainable sources of raw materials. The produced MAP software will be freely available with open source code.
The members of the MAP project consortium are:
- Geological Survey of Finland (Lead Partner)
- Geological Survey of Sweden
- University of Oulu
- LTU Business AB
- Iceland GeoSurvey
- Geological Survey of Norway
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Scandinavian Highlands
- Beak Consultants GmbH
The members of the consortium bring together representatives of research, higher education and business.