Exeter University scientists are leading a new collaborative project to discover new mineral deposits across Europe.
The team will reportedly create new techniques to find to date unrecorded deposits as part of a four year, 5.4 million Euro project from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.
This European Union program has also seen the development of new underwater mining robots.
A major focus of the research project will be rare earth minerals.
According to Exeter University (UoE), “The innovative new project will use mineralogy, petrology and geophysics techniques to create advanced exploration models to determine where the valuable minerals can be found.”
UoE Camborne School of Mines professor Frances Wall, who is leading the project, explained that “pioneering new research that will be developed as part of this exciting project will give us unrivalled access to new locations for some of Europe’s most critical raw material deposits”.
“We believe that the project will pave the way for Europe to become a world-leader in this specialist, but vital, area of mineral extraction, and crucially exploit them in an environmentally-responsible way.”
Five other universities, the London Natural History Museum, the British Geological Survey, as well as industry partners are involved in the project.
“We believe that this is the largest research project on carbonatites and alkaline rocks ever undertaken. It is a tremendously exciting opportunity to garner lifetimes' worth of expertise from the world’s experts, which we will do through a series of expert council workshops and fieldtrips," Wall said.