Second slide

| Background |

develop innovative exploration concepts and technologies

NEXT will develop new geomodels and novel sensitive exploration technologies which are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and socially accepted.

Methods developed reduce the current high exploration costs and enhance participation of civil society from the start of exploration, raising awareness and trust. Moreover, the reduced environmental impact of the new technologies and better knowledge about the factors influencing social licensing will help promote social acceptance of both exploration and mining and therefore support the further development of Europe´s extractive industry.

The partners come from 6 EU member states (FI, FR, DE, MT, ES and SE) and represent the main metal producing regions of Europe, Fennoscandian Shield, Variscan Belt of Iberia and Central European Belt. These economically most important metallogenic belts of the EU have diverse geology with evident potential for different types of new mineral resource. The mineral deposits in these belts are the most feasible sources of critical, high-tech and other economically important metals in the EU.

In addition to the variable geology, the vulnerability of the environment and the glacial sedimentary cover in the Arctic regions of northern Europe, and the thick weathering crust and more densely populated nature of the target areas in the Iberian and Central European belts influence the mineral exploration in different ways. Therefore the new environmentally sound exploration concepts and technologies will be optimized and tested on diverse mineral deposit types. A dedicated work package on Social License to Explore will generate knowledge and tools that help the industry to improve their relationships with local actors and communities.

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| Technical description |

Concept and methodology

NEXT will develop new geomodels and novel sensitive exploration technologies which are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and 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. The most important components of the project are:

  • Produce robust conceptual 3D models for selected target sites that in combination with pathfinders allow to predict the location and the size of ore deposits at depth,
  • Develop new geophysical EM airborne methods (also with UAVs),
  • Improve, facilitate and promote cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly multi-source surface geochemical exploration techniques for target scale mineral exploration,
  • Integrate spectral, multiscale, multisensory exploration data,
  • Develop self-organizing map software, which enables analysis of large amounts of data in order to find typical pattern for certain deposit types,
  • Develop practical guidelines and generate strategies that improve relationships between industry and local actors and communities.

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| Objectives |

NEXT objectives will be achieved by taking into account the specific challenges for the EU economy and civil society

The following specific objectives to reach in the 3 year NEXT project have been defined taking into consideration a range of project constraints, including the available budget, duration of the project, realistic and measurable goals, expected impacts and exploitation potential:

Objective 01

New geological/litho-geochemical technologies for the exploration of hidden critical metal-enriched ore deposits

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Objective 02

A novel geophysical EM system for ore exploration based on Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)

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Objective 03

A high-end accurate vector magnetic system integrated to UAV in order to upgrade mineral exploration survey to totally new level

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Objective 04

Better cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly multi-source surface geochemical exploration techniques for target scale mineral exploration

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Objective 05

New environmentally friendly instruments for mineral exploration using optical spectroscopy

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Objective 06

New geophysical inversion software for modern drone exploration surveys

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Objective 07

New on-site geochemical and mineralogical analysis techniques

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Objective 08

New advanced methods of data processing and data integration for the development of mineral prospectivity maps and spatial data mining

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Objective 09

Better awareness, acceptance and trust of society in the exploration phase of a possible mining development

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Objective 10

New scientific and technical synergies between European projects dealing with Raw Materials

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