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New geomodels to explore deeper for High-Technology critical raw materials in Alkaline rocks and Carbonatites

Objective

Five of the 20 raw materials identified by the European Commission as critical are commonly found in association with alkaline rocks and carbonatites (heavy and light rare earth elements, niobium, fluorspar, and phosphate). Other elements increasingly important for ‘hi-tech’ applications, and found in these rocks include hafnium (Hf), tantalum (Ta), scandium (Sc) and zirconium (Zr). In fact, there is a greater chance of a carbonatite complex having resources economic to mine than any other rock type (about 20 active mines in ca. 500 known carbonatite complexes).

Less than 3% of critical raw materials supply is indigenous to the EU. However, deposits are known and exploration is ongoing in parts of northern Europe. In central and southern Europe the presence of abundant alkaline volcanic rocks indicates the likelihood that deposits exist within about a km of the surface.
This project will make a step-change in exploration models for alkaline and carbonatite provinces, using mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry, and state-of-the-art interpretation of high resolution geophysics and downhole measurement tools, to make robust predictions about mineral prospectivity at depth. This will be achieved through studies at seven key natural laboratories, combined with Expert Council workshops. The results will be incorporated into new geomodels on multiple scales.

In contrast to known deposits, Europe is well endowed with expertise. The project brings together industry partners involved in exploration, geophysics and environmental assessment with two geological surveys, a major museum and five universities. The results will make Europe the world leader in this specialist area. They will give the four SME industry partners world-leading expertise to develop and expand their businesses, transferring their business expertise from Africa to Europe. The project will help give European ‘hi-tech’ industry the confidence to innovate in manufacturing using critical raw materials.

Call for proposal

H2020-SC5-2015-one-stage
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 540 425,51

Participants (11)

GEO-AFRICA PROSPECTING SERVICES CC
Namibia
EU contribution
€ 237 010
Address
23 Schanzenweg Eros
9000 Windhoek
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNITED KINGDOM RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 386 237,50
Address
Polaris House North Star Avenue
SN2 1FL Swindon
Activity type
Research Organisations
TERRATEC GEOPHYSICAL SERVICES GMBH & CO KG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 808 200
Address
Schillerstrasse 3
79423 Heitersheim
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 497 068,75
Address
Geschwister-scholl-platz
72074 Tuebingen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
MENDELOVA UNIVERZITA V BRNE
Czechia
EU contribution
€ 336 625
Address
Zemedelska 1/1665
613 00 Brno Sever
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 410 986,25
Address
North Street 66 College Gate
KY16 9AJ St Andrews
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO DI CHIETI-PESCARA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 295 312,50
Address
Via Dei Vestini 31
66013 Chieti
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LANCASTER EXPLORATION LIMITED
British Virgin Islands
EU contribution
€ 168 553,24
Address
58 Administration Drive Wickhams Cay
Road Town, Tortola
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 138 625
Address
Cromwell Road
SW7 5BD London
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
A. SPEISER-ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS CC
Namibia
EU contribution
€ 106 902,25
Address
12Thfl, Sanlam Centre, 145-157 Independence Avenue
9999 Windhoek
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 469 350
Address
Oster Voldgade 10
1350 Kobenhavn K
Activity type
Other