INFACT Project Newsletter #03

The Innovative, Non-invasive and Fully Acceptable Exploration Technologies (INFACT): 
The future of raw materials exploration in Europe!


In this edition: 
The INFACT consortium meeting - outcomes and lessons learned
INFACT - key numbers and current status after Year 1
Where to meet the project team this spring?
Next steps - INFACT campaign in Spain

The INFACT project consortium recently met in Helsinki, Finland, to discuss progress on tasks and upcoming activities.

Finland in the spotlight
  • The event was hosted by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). 
  • The consortium learnt about Finland’s past experiences with mining activities, and about best practices to avoid environmental disasters like Talvivaara. 
  • Eero Yrjö-Koskinen made a presentation about the Finnish Sustainable Mining Network, which is developing tools to improve the sustainability of mining and ore exploration in Finland. 
  • The bravest partners participated in a walking tour to discover Helsinki’s rich architecture and history (with -15 °C and a snow storm!).
Highlights of the Consortium Meeting
  • The INFACT Consortium is made up of two main communities: geoscientists (geologists and geophysicists) and social scientists. Therefore it is crucial to adopt a common language and increase interactions between the different working groups. These efforts resulted in fruitful interactions between partners from very diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, and several ideas for future joint activities.
  • A recurrent keyword in the discussions was “benchmarking”, both from the geosciences and social sciences point of view.  
  • The efforts of all partners converged towards the life after the project, which resulted in abundant exchanges and a number of key questions: How to derive a viable and profitable business model for the INFACT reference sites? Who will be the clients? How to set up a certification scheme? What are the current needs in the industry?
  • A special morning session was dedicated to the young scientists involved in the project. The main focus of this session was to gather their ideas regarding the activities within the project from a critical and fresh perspective.
  • geophysical workshop at the end of the week provided a wonderful chance for junior scientists to exchange with experts of the geophysical community.
You can read a full report about the consortium meeting here

Lessons of communication

As mentioned above, communication is crucial for a project which involves and targets very diverse communities. You can discover a more personal analysis of the consortium meeting in an article on “Lessons of Communication from the Consortium meeting” by Juha Kotilainen from the University of Eastern Finland.

  • 16 project months completed
  • 32 deliverables submitted
  • 8346 messages sent on Slack
  • 1771 line kilometres of airborne data acquired – this sounds few from an industry point of view, but is a great achievement for an EU project!
  • 90 German kids have discovered the principles of magnetism
  • 45623 visits to the INFACT website

PDAC, 3-6 March, Toronto, Canada
Several of the INFACT partners will be present at the PDAC in Canada in early March. You can meet representatives of HZDR, SRK, Anglo American, Geotech and Junta de Andalucía. Come and say hi at the HZDR or the EU EASME booth!

EGU General Assembly, 7-12 April, Vienna, Austria
INFACT will be presented by project coordinator Leila Ajjabou: Certifying best practices in mineral exploration: a step towards an enhanced reputation (session EGU2019-13432).



In spring 2019, 3 main geophysical measurements are planned at INFACT’s Spanish reference site at the Rio Tinto and Las Cruces Mines:

  • Passive seismic survey in Las Cruces (in collaboration with the EU project PACIFIC)
  • Drone-based magnetometer and hyperspectral surveys in Las Cruces and Rio Tinto (performed by HIF HZDR)
  • Helicopter-based airborne electromagnetic survey in Las Cruces and Rio Tinto (performed by Geotech and the subcontracting helicopter company Koopmann)

All those measurements will take place between mid-March and late April. The INFACT partners involved in stakeholder engagement activities are currently consulting with surrounding municipalities on their festivities in that period, particularly around Easter ("Semana Santa" in Spanish)) which is celebrated all over Andalusia between 15 and 21 April. Partners are also in contact with environmental authorities to ensure the lowest possible impact of the project activities on the local wildlife.

Partners involved: ATClave, Geognosia, Atalaya Rio Tinto, Cobre Las Cruces, HZDR, Geotech

Stay tuned! 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 776487.
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