The X-MINE project (2017-2020) under the Horizon2020 program addresses the EU need to increase self-sufficiency in regards to minerals, minimising the environmental impact and balancing the land use situation. The project consortium includes 15 organisations from 9 countries (Finland, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Australia), bringing together public and private academic and research organisations as well as four mining companies from Europe (Lovisagruvan – Sweden, Asarel-Medet – Bulgaria, Hellas Gold – Greece and Hellenic Copper Mines – Cyprus).
There are three main directions followed in the project: (1) smart exploration through improved support of 3D geological modelling of the shape of the ore bodies and the extent of proximal mineralising structures; (2) selective drilling: real-time online data collection while exploration drilling can allow mining companies to make better informed decisions about extending, re-prioritising or diminishing drill holes in order to maximise the efficiency of the exploration campaign and mining operation; (3) optimal extraction: novel sensing technologies can be used to reject unmineralised rock fragments, thus reducing energy consumption. The X-MINE project is currently developing a real-time mining sensing platform comprising of: 1) a set of high performance sensors based on X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Transmission (XRT) technologies, 2) a platform combining X-Ray sensors with machine vision based 3D shape measurement of particles and 3) the integration of the sensing components and results thereof with mineral sorting equipment, mine planning software systems and exploration software and work procedures. The technical outcomes of the project are an exploration drill core scanner and an “ore from waste”-sorter that both will be demonstrated in full scale at the participating mines.
Updates on the X-Mine project will be presented by Marian Munteanu, Senior Researcher, Deputy Director, Geological Institute of Romania at MINEX Europe 2019 on 25-27 June 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria.