Project

NEXT- New Exploration Technologies (Horizon 2020)

Goal: The Horizon 2020 Project NEXT will develop new geomodels, novel sensitive exploration technologies and data analysis methods, which together are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and potentially more socially accepted. The project is built on three pillars of technological advances: (1) Mineral systems modeling, (2) exploration methods and approaches as well as (3) data processing and data integration tools.

Methods: Mineral Exploration

Date: 1 May 2018 - 30 April 2021

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Project log

Fernando Tornos
added a research item
Drill-core analysis is paramount for the characterization of deposits in mineral exploration. Over the past years, the use of hyperspectral (HS) sensors has rapidly increased to improve the reliability and efficiency of core logging. However, scanning drill-core samples of an entire mineral deposit entails several complex challenges, from transport logistics to large scale data management and analysis. Hence, academic studies on new applications of drill-core HS data at a mineral deposit scale remain rare. We present a semi-automated workflow for large scale interpretation of HS data, founded on a novel approach of mineral mapping based on a supervised dictionary learning technique. This approach exploits the complementary information from scanning electron microscopy based automated mineralogy and hyperspectral imaging techniques for estimating mineral quantities along all boreholes. We propose that it is effectively possible to propagate the mineral quantification to the entire borehole from small samples with high resolution mineralogical information strategically selected throughout the deposit. We showcase this approach on data acquired in the Elvira shale-hosted volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit located at the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), where 7000 m of drill-core were acquired along 80 boreholes. Resulting maps provide insights on the controls on the mineral assemblages and chemical composition of specific minerals across the whole volume at several spatial scales, from large scale variations within apparently homogeneous black shales to small scale mineral composition variations, of potential use as vectors towards mineralization. This approach adds value to the core data, allowing for a better understanding of the geological setting of the Elvira deposit and providing valuable insights for future exploration targeting in the region. This approach based on machine learning can easily be transposed to different ore deposits with a limited input from a geologist.
Toni Tapani Eerola
added a research item
The websites of companies practicing mineral exploration in Finland (CPMEF¹) were surveyed for references to new low-impact mineral exploration technologies (NLIMET²) and the social license to explore (SLE³), i.e., acceptance/approval of mineral exploration by the local community. The purpose was to examine which NLIMET are used by the companies and how they understand the SLE, how these two topics are communicated on their websites, whether they are interlinked, and what may be the motivation for communicating these topics. Twenty companies were found to refer to SLE-related issues on their websites. However, most of these websites do not directly mention the SLE as a term, but instead address it under terms such as acceptance, stakeholder engagement or the company–community relationship. Nine companies report the use of NLIMET. Coincidently, the same companies mostly also refer to the SLE. The operational contexts of companies mentioning NLIMET wereexamined, and most of them were found to be exploring in sensitive areas and/or deposits associated with uranium and facing opposition. Indeed, such contexts may challenge the acquisition the SLE in Finland, even if the companies apply and communicate the use of NLIMET.
Bijal Chudasama
added a research item
In this news article we explain the application of modern machine learning methods for prospectivity modeling of gold in the Rajapalot project area in Finland. Full article is available here: https://www.new-exploration.tech/media/pages/media-news-events/publication/downloads/12-transferrring-regional-to-local-scale-prediction/137a88c8c0-1631035563/transforming-regional-scale-predictions-to-target-scale-detections_next-2021-09_1_en.pdf (https://new-exploration.tech/media-news-events) This study was carried out under the research project NEXT- New Exploration Technologies. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 776804. NEXT on Researchgate - https://www.researchgate.net/project/NEXT-New-Exploration-Technologies-Horizon-2020
Emma Losantos
added a research item
Geolodia (virtual) de la provincia de Cáceres. Este año se celebra en Logrosán, donde se explican los fundamentos geológicos que han dado lugar a sus conocidas minas de casiterita y fosforita.
Guillem Gisbert Pinto
added 2 research items
Despite of being a fundamental part of volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) systems, both for their importance in the comprehension of their genesis and their economic interest, stockworks have been often overlooked. The Iberian Pyrite Belt is an ideal place for their study as it entails a variety of VMS styles and their correspondent stockworks: shale hosted (Tharsis); igneous rocks hosted (Aguas Teñidas) and transitional (Río Tinto). The different styles share some common characteristics such as an irregular to stratabound morphology and a distinctive ore mineralogy, different to that of the overlying massive sulfides. The shale hosted stockworks show as well a unique chlorite-rich zone and an irregular enrichment in As-Co-Te-Bi-Au-bearing minerals more diverse than in the volcanic-hosted systems. Stockworks developed on volcanic rocks on the other hand, present in general an internal Cu enriched chloritic zone surrounded by a Zn enriched sericitic one with high contents in Ba and Na. Transitional ones show both types.
The late Paleozoic Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), southwestern Iberian Peninsula, hosts one of the largest concentrations of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits on the Earth's surface. The ore-bearing sequence includes felsic-rock-hosted VMS deposits formed by host rock replacement in the northern area of the IPB, and shale-hosted deposits formed by direct sulphide precipitation on the seafloor in the southern area. The high-grade Elvira Cu-Zn-Pb deposit is the most recent discovery, and is located eastward of one of the largest orebodies in the southern IPB, the Sotiel-Migollas cluster. This deposit consists of a single massive sulphide lens located ca. 250-500 m below the surface and is hosted in an overturned and thrusted sequence dominated by dark shales dated to uppermost Devonian. The stratigraphic footwall includes a well-developed stockwork zone and pervasive chlorite-rich alteration. The massive sulphides show abundant sedimentary structures typical of deposition on the seafloor but also a large zone of sub-seafloor replacement of muds which marks the transition from the feeder zone to the exhalative massive sulphides.
Private Profile
added a research item
The HORIZON 2020 research project NEXT (New Exploration Technologies) shall develop new geomodels, novel sensitive exploration technologies and data analysis methods, which together are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and more socially accepted. The project is built on three pillars of technological advances: Mineral systems modeling, exploration methods and approaches, data processing and data integration tools. NEXT will combine the knowledge derived from the geological mineral systems research with the new advanced exploration techniques. The development of data analysis techniques is a crucial step in getting most out of the vast exploration data with lower costs and better accuracy. These principles in mind, NEXT is taking steps toward more efficient and economically and environmentally sustainable mineral exploration. The consortium consists of 16 partners from research institutes, academia, service providers and industry. They represent the main metal-producing regions of Europe: the Baltic Shield, the Iberian Variscan Belt and the Central European Belt.
Private Profile
added an update
On 23. and 24. May 2018, the research project NEXT, financed by the European Union as part of the HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation programme, started with a kick-off meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland. The NEXT consortium is coordinated by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and consists of 16 partners from research institutes, academia, service providers and mining industry from the six EU member states Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, Malta and Spain, who represent the main metal-producing regions of Europe.
 
Private Profile
added a project goal
The Horizon 2020 Project NEXT will develop new geomodels, novel sensitive exploration technologies and data analysis methods, which together are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and potentially more socially accepted. The project is built on three pillars of technological advances: (1) Mineral systems modeling, (2) exploration methods and approaches as well as (3) data processing and data integration tools.