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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Sustainable supply of raw MAteRails by uTilizing new EXPLORATION technologies

Objectives of the commitment

Our objectives include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Development of fast, reliable, and cost-effective geophysical tools and methods for high-resolution brown- and green-field exploration, in particular for the targeted EU raw materials;
(2) Exploration in deep mines (both open pit and underground);
(3) Exploration while mining (exploration guiding mining activities);
(4) Exploration with minimum- and to minimize environmental impacts;
(5) Data mining and generating targets and conceptual mineral-deposit modelling, signature and footprint studies;
(6) Novel approaches for handling, reprocessing and modelling of legacy exploration data;
(7) Application of the developed technologies to green-field areas to increase the knowledge about resources and integrating national exploration database.

Description of the activities

SmartExploration will primarily aim at developing seismic and EM methods and instruments to be used separately and jointly in highly noisy environments. Full-scale active and passive seismic data recording will be possible by time synchronizing seismic and EM receivers (real time-series analysis to be possible). Down-dip exploration will be made possible in stressed mines and new exploration targets will be generated by novel data mining, reprocessing, and joint inversion and modelling of existing exploration and public data through geological surveys.

New downhole seismic and EM sensors will be developed that would allow larger penetration around boreholes and higher resolution imaging and delineation of mineral deposits and structures controlling them. Novel seismic methods, both active and passive, will be applied for exploration with higher resolution, but at lower cost and lower environmental impact. Measuring while drilling will be possible using modified versions of some of these sensors to provide information about the velocities and structures around the hole.

Data integration tools will be implemented to improve interpretation reliability and resolution for complex targets. Tests on green-field areas will be performed with the aim to increase knowledge about potential resources.

Communication, dissemination, and dedicated workshops and conferences will be executed during the project through a professional organization partner. Outreach activities, popular science, peer-reviewed articles and presentations, coauthored by industry and relevant SME partners, will have a priority in the project.

We also anticipate patents within the projects that could be commercialized through the SME partners. Joint PhD-degree university projects and industry internships will be possible and aimed for in the project. This should allow mobility among partners but more importantly young researchers (PhD and MSc students) involved in the project.

Description of the expected impacts

SmartExploration will develop new exploration technologies suitable for brown- and green-fields and generating targets for modern but systematic exploration programs. A major focus of the application will be on non-invasive geophysical methods by, for example, turning the noise (vibration and seismicity) into useful signal for geophysical exploration.

Novel data mining and mineral-deposit modelling will be performed, signatures and host geological structures will be studied, and suitable technologies for their exploration will be introduced and tested. The application will give its main focus in areas at and around existing mines, but will also have a component for green-field exploration. New surface, in-mine and downhole acquisition systems will be designed and engineered to increase sensitivity and resolution of exiting geophysical methods. Structural vectoring will be developed to complement some of the geophysical studies.

Industrial exploration workflows and data integration tools will become available to the industry. We anticipate SmartExploration to not only help exploration to succeed but also be useful for mine planning, allowing sustainable mining with lower environmental impact. Feasibility for mining and exploration should always be studied together if we are to secure the future supply of minerals.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: Uppsala UniversityCountry: SwedenEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment:

UU will coordinate the project and also actively take part in the developments of geophysical tools and methods for brown and green field geophysical exploration. UU will also take parts in data collection and pilot studies as well as the supervision of graduate students to work in the project.

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.

Fundacion Cidaut

Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.

RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)

Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.

Universita' di Cagliari

Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.

Relight

Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.

Piaggio Aerospace

Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

Blackshape Aircrafts

Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

KU Leuven

Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.

FIDAMC

Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.

COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER

Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.

Existing EU Contribution: Yes

Period to implement the commitment: from 15-03-2016 to 31-05-2020