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The aim of the research project is to develop a rapid and simple methodology for collecting and processing the data used to analyze the feasibility of starting a new mining activity, or expanding an existing one, in cases of small mines with complex orebodies.

Task 1 is information collection. The collection of the basic geology and other information and parameters needed for an efficient evaluation of ore body morphology, ore types and grades distribution will be coordinated by FINSEPOL. The main sources of data will be the existing and planned exploratory and sampling work. Modern geophysical techniques for drawing radar profiles of the mineralization (usable both in tunnels an drillholes) will be applied to complete the existing body of knowledge. IDROGEO will be subcontractor to FINSEPOL.

Task 2 is the characterization of ore body morphology. The work will focus on obtaining a geometrical representation of the mineralized bodies of the Monte Avanza mine by developing effective but simplified standardized procedures of general applicability but particularly suitable for the small mine. The work will consist mainly in developing an interpolator that can integrate a fairly heterogenous numerical body of information as well as improving the knowledge of the geology of the deposit and reproducing the mineralized bodies. IDROGEO and FINSEPOL will assist in this task by providing ARMINES with all available information from geophysical exploration surveys and exploratory tunnelling and drilling.

Task 3 is the spatial modelling of grades and shapes for the definition of selective mining plans and the corresponding equipment needs. Parallel to the study of the morphology of the mineralisation (task 2), the third task will focus on developing an effective but simple procedure for analyzing the distribution of ore grades within that morphology simultaneously with the morphology definition making economic evaluations of reserves, determining cutoff grades, evaluating acceptable dilution, etc. The first step will consist of carrying out spatial statistical studies using the available data (correlations, variograms, etc) with a view to proposing a given distribution of ore grades for the studies structures (applying geostatistical methods among others).

Especially for determining the cutoff grade, which is expected to pose difficulties due to the polymetallic ore, advice will be provided by a subcontractor of FINSEPOL. As a second step a special study will be carried out for this issue and a separate report will be written.

The third step will consist of defining an operational procedure for the simultaneous definition of possible plans for mining operations and the appropriate equipment types and sizes.

Task 4 is the development of criteria for quick characterization of geomechanical parameters. The fourth task will focus on the geotechnical characterization of the Monte Avanza deposit using simplified standardized criteria adapted to a small deposit with many more bodies with highly variable characteristics. The work will involve a certain number of measurements of geotechnical characteristics both in situ and in the laboratory and using samples from the mine, calculations of the structure, etc. The results will be interpreted with a view to evaluating the stability of the envisaged works.

Task 5 is the economic considerations and the final report. This fifth and last task will involve the synthesis of the findings of the research work and the evaluation of the results in terms of their foreseeable economic impact in the framework of a potential industrial project. The synthesis will translate the opinion of the company concerning the methodology adopted for collecting and especially processing the information. It will also help measure the foreseeable economic and technical benefits that small mines could obtain from its utilization. It is noteworthy that certain aspects of task 5 will integrate the results of the research project on the mineral processing and extractive metallurgical aspects of this mine.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Finsepol SpA
Via Bonomo 4
34126 Trieste

Participants (2)

Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Méthodes et Processus Industriels - ARMINES
Rue Saint-honoré 35
77305 Fontainebleau
Mining Italiana SpA
Via Chianesi 110
00128 Roma