Sweden-based mining company Nordic Iron Ore (NIO) has partnered with South African gold miner Gold Fields to participate in FUTURE, an ERA-MIN3 EU-funded project to improve exploration technology and knowledge of local mineral resources to its sites.
The company said it would also work with Uppsala University, Sercal, Wits University and Geological Survey of Sweden through an ERA-Net Cofund on Raw Materials to "expand sustainable high-tech and innovative mineral exploration solutions."
The work will involve fibre-optic sensing technologies, MEMS-based seismic nodes and UAV-based magnetic and electromagnetic surveys for high-definition target generations and subsurface imaging.
It will take place at NIO's mine sites in Sweden and Gold Field's deep mining site in South Africa, where mining at depth requires an improved understanding of potential resources at depth and their host rock structures.
The company said several field surveys are already planned, "as well as new prototype equipment and technical solutions" to make them cost-effective in hard-rock settings.
The project is scheduled to commence in April 2022 and will last for four years.