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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > New testing techniques revitalise a once-thriving gold mining region
Graphic element New testing techniques revitalise a once-thriving gold mining region
     
 
New analytical and geophysical technologies for detecting poly-metallic ore bodies in southern Spain.
 

Once a thriving mining region, the southern Iberian peninsula, including southern Spain, has been widely seen as being depleted of valuable minerals. Partners in this project wanted to know whether new technologies could help in the definition and location of additional gold- and metal-rich zones, thus helping to reinvigorate the southern Spanish mining industry.

Based on new geological and geochemical concepts, a new, money-saving, high-performance testing methodology was created. New tools were also developed including interactive three-dimensional modelling software, software for a down-hole system which can recognise and locate productive clusters, a gas analyser able to identify gases emitted by these clusters and a laser microprobe mask spectrometer for mullet-element analysis (Pixe probe). The new system also allows the more precise identification of mineral sites containing elements that are potentially harmful to the environment, like arsenic and thallium.

The analytical tools developed as a result of this project, particularly the Pixe probe, have already attracted commercial contracts. Partners, including geologists, geochemists and geophysicists, say the project has contributed to the rehabilitation of an important European mining province, stimulating and supporting renewed interest among mining companies.

Cordis RCN: 6547
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