| What is NEXT |

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The project NEXT (New Exploration Technologies) will highlight the possibilities of exploring for raw materials in Europe in the most sustainable and socially acceptable way leading to an extension of the knowledge of existing deposits in Europe.

NEXT will enhance our understanding of the mineral systems and develop new more sensitive exploration techniques. By integrating industry, academia and research institutes with expertise and excellence in exploration and 3D modelling, it is our ambition in NEXT to develop new cost‐efficient tools that are specifically aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the European exploration industry.

NEXT will create a totally new concept of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology for geophysical surveying combined with the well‐established but constantly emerging portable geochemical exploration tools (XRF, LIBS, Raman) and remote sensing technologies.

| New Exploration Methods |

MINERAL SYSTEM MODELING

The aim of this work package is to develop conceptual mineral system and exploration models for selected main and/or poorly known ore districts in Europe, including major Cu-Au and Au-Co mineralization in the Lapland region, the volcanic-hosted massive sulphides of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, W-Sn mineralization in Western Iberia and IOCG-like projects in SW-Spain. The aim of these multidisciplinary studies including basic geology, structural geology, geochemistry and geophysics is to develop 3D models that help to predict the location of ore deposits and a transition from brownfield to greenfield exploration in the most important field camps in Europe.

The second aim of this work package is to develop a systematic approach for the definition of pathfinders and vectors to ore for the aforementioned ore deposit styles using some selected deposits such as Rompas-Rajapalot (Au-Co, Finland), Aguas Teñidas-Elvira (Cu-Zn-Ag, Spain) or San Finx (Sn-W, Spain). The aim of this study is that the combination of lithogeochemical, mineralogical and isotopic studies should predict the deep geological volumes with the highest chances of hosting an orebody by combination of the definition of the most favourable lithologies and the existing ore traps expressed by the presence of subtle halos of hydrothermal alteration.

DATA PROCESSING AND INTEGRATION TOOLS

The existing data integration and clustering algorithm of Self‐Organizing Maps (SOM) has been successfully redeveloped as open‐source (OS) “nextSOMcore”. It has now been integrated by GTK into a new open-source GIS software package, called “GisSOM”. In addition, it has been integrated into “Esri ArcGIS” as free available Toolbox and as new extension into the commercial software “advangeo® Prediction” by Beak. The SOM approach has been tested with existing data from the Erzgebirge site and will now be applied to the available and newly acquired data from the target areas in Rajapalot and Elvira.

UAV ELECTROMAGNETIC TECHNOLOGY

The first prototype of the new electro‐magnetic (EM) system has been built in 2018 by Radai and an improved system tested in autumn 2019. The prototype system consists of EM transmitter and receiver units which can be carried by drones or humans.

For the EM system also new interpretation tools have been implemented into new software tools by Radai.

MULTI‐SOURCE SURFACE GEOCHEMICAL AND SPECTRAL INVESTIGATIONS

This year two successful data collection campaigns at the Raja prospect in Ylitornio, Finland, were completed. In March 2019, a field crew from GTK collected snow samples in the study area of 2.5 km across. In summer, the same field sites were revisited for performing a plant and soil survey campaign. Top organic and mineral soil, foliage and tree bark, as well as transpired fluids from spruce foliage were sampled to be analysed for elemental and hydrocarbon concentration. Altogether 98 sites were visited resulting in more than 1,000 soil and plant samples and soil measurements. At the test sites in Spain, hyperspectral measurements in the field and on 7 km of drill core have been completed by HZDR/HIF.

| Improving the Relations between Mining Industry and Broader Society |

SOCIAL LICENSE TO EXPLORE ANDOPERATE (SLO)

In the work package on SLO, key factors that influence the effectiveness of social licensing during the exploration phase are being identified. Now a policy brief on the importance and effectiveness of practices used to assess social impacts and interact with the local communities will be published.

| Figures |

Call: H2020‐SC5‐13C‐2016‐2017 – New solutions for sustainable production of raw materials

Duration: 01.05.2018 ‐ 30.04.2021

Total budget: 6.9 MIO. €

Consortium: 16 partners from research institutes, academia, service providers and industry from 6 EU countries – Finland, Spain, Sweden, France, Germany and Malta

Coordinator: GTK (FINLAND)

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