One of the richest tungsten-tin (tantalum-lithium) mineral belts worldwide is located in western and central-eastern Europe, where different types of mineralization are related to felsic intrusive rocks. These ore deposits were intensively exploited until the 1980’s , when they closed due to market constrains. However, currently there is an increasing demand for these metals and nowadays Europe hosts some active mines and dozens of advanced exploration projects. Most of these projects are brownfields and are located at or near existing mining sites. W-Sn mining differs from large scale mining since the deposits are generally of high grade—low tonnage and mostly worked by SME’s with specific problems related to grade control, resource evaluation and mineral processing. In addition, their location in distinctive ore belts with specific geological controls have kept these deposits away from recent advances in conceptual exploration. All these problems have hindered greenfields exploration and major advances in resource evaluation. The iTarg3T project aims to provide solutions for the exploration of W-Sn-(Ta-Li) deposits via effective ore targeting, and improvment of resource estimation and ore processing. The aim is to contribute to the mid-term self-supply in Europe and promote the know-how on these deposits via training of students, transfer of knowledge and the promotion of start-ups synchronous with the solution of scientific, economic and technical problems. The project is divided in different work packages including the state of the art of W-Sn mining , recycing and substitution and social license (WP2), definition of the key guides for mineral exploration (WP3), new methods of geophysical exploration and resource evaluation (WP4) and comminution tests using a novel and efficient prototype of water and energy saving for comminution (VeRo Liberator®) (WP5).
Europe has a large potential for the production and self-supply of W, Sn, Ta, and Li - raw materials ‘critical’ for the economy. Despite ore deposits are abundant, there are specific problems related to their exploration, resource evaluation, comminution and social license that hamper their development. The iTarg3T Project aims to overcome these limitations, promoting the supply of these critical metals by providing innovative tools for deposit targeting & development.
For the sake of knowledge transfer, iTarg3T project organizes short courses, field trips and conferences at the graduate, master Ph.D. and professional level.
For the sake of dissemination to non-specialized public iTarg3T members participate in talks and dissemination activities.
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