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New Exploration Tools for European Pegmatite Green-Tech Resources

Project description

Buried pegmatite ores can increase European raw material resources

The manufacturing of devices for green energy production and storage in Europe is a fast-growing sector. However, 95 % of the main raw materials needed for green energy devices are imported. For industrial development to be sustainable, domestic deposits need to be secured. Lithium–caesium–tantalum and niobium–yttrium–fluorine pegmatites are quite common in Europe, but they are difficult to explore because most are buried, small and clustered. The EU-funded GREENPEG project aims to develop and test high-level exploration technologies and algorithms that will be integrated and converted into flexible, ready-to-use toolsets for the identification of buried pegmatite ores. The project's results will increase European raw material resources, enhance databases on raw materials and improve the competitiveness of EU companies.

Objective

The manufacture of devices for green energy production and storage in Europe is a strategic, fast-growing sector which is essential in ensuring that the EU meets its energy and climate targets for 2030. It is worth an estimated €30 Bn in turnover, with investments of €4 Bn in the EU27, and is likely to create c.a. 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years. A major limitation to this is that 95% of the key raw materials for green energy devices are currently imported from outside the EU. Securing domestic deposits is therefore urgent for sustainable industrial development, mainly in retaining a large part of the added value, reducing supply risks and ensuring EU environmental standards for the production of raw materials. Exploration investment in Europe has declined in recent years due to increased technical demand and socio-political debate. Private sector engagement will increase only when technical solutions allow economically viable and environmentally friendly exploration and mining. Geologically, lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) and niobium-yttrium-fluorine (NYF) pegmatites are relatively common in Europe, enriched in many CRM needed for energy technologies but difficult to explore because most are buried, small and clustered. The GREENPEG approach will develop and test a set of high-level exploration technologies and algorithms to be integrated and upscaled into flexible, ready-to-use (TRL 7) toolsets for the identification of buried pegmatite ores. Validation of the new approach will be ensured from industry-led trials at locations in Austria, Ireland and Norway, while application studies will also be done in Finland, Portugal and Spain. Many of these target areas have established downstream processing industry, thus extending their value chains. The data acquired will enhance European databases, e.g. adding new petrophysical properties for pegmatite ores, making the toolsets also important for geological surveys and increasing the competitiveness of EU companies.

Call for proposal

H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020

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Sub call

H2020-SC5-2019-2

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITETET I OSLO
Net EU contribution
€ 1 317 902,50
Address
Problemveien 5-7
0313 Oslo
Norway

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Region
Norge Oslo og Viken Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (13)