Introduction to the special issue on “Cost-effective and innovative mineral exploration solutions”
A. Malehmir, M. Manzi, D. Draganov, U. Weckmann and E. Auken
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 68, No 1, January 2020 pp. 3 - 6
Info: Article, PDF ( 331.51Kb )
The mineral exploration industry is again in a boom to provide new resources of critical raw materials as well as base and precious metals. This is evident from the globally increased expenditure reported for 2018 (International Mining 2018). Global demand towards green technologies requires sustainable flow of primary raw materials into the so-called whole value chain. Without exploring in new areas (greenfields), the chance of finding giant deposits or providing fresh resources to the market and sustaining the value-chain loop would be minimal. However, it is convenient in the short term to explore in brownfield areas and near mines to make use of existing infrastructures and to avoid new environmental footprints. In such circumstances, the mineral exploration industry is further challenged to not only provide high-quality and highresolution deep-targeting solutions but also to do it in a costand environmentally effective way. This is particularly significant in the European Union (EU) and in regions with thick cover, requiring new and much more sensitive exploration technologies for direct deposit targeting and geological characterization. In addressing these, there are several research and innovation initiatives worldwide trying to tackle some of these challenges like, to list a few, Smart Exploration in the EU and Metal Earth in Canada. There are also a number of cooperative research centre (CRC) projects in Australia as well as in Africa where favourable geology exists but exploration is challenged to find new “tier 1” deposits at depth (+500 m).