NEXT – New exploration techniques
NEXT will develop new geomodels and novel sensitive exploration technologies which are fast, cost-effective, environmentally safe and socially accepted.
Methods developed reduce the current high exploration costs and enhance participation of civil society from the start of exploration, raising awareness and trust. Moreover, the reduced environmental impact of the new technologies and better knowledge about the factors influencing social licensing will help promote social acceptance of both exploration and mining and therefore support the further development of Europe´s extractive industry.
The NEXT consortium is coordinated by GTK. The partners come from 6 EU member states (FI, FR, DE, MT, ES and SE) and represent the main metal producing regions of Europe, Fennoscandian Shield, Variscan Belt of Iberia and Central European Belt. These economically most important metallogenic belts of the EU have diverse geology with evident potential for different types of new mineral resource. The mineral deposits in these belts are the most feasible sources of critical, high-tech and other economically important metals in the EU.
In addition to the variable geology, the vulnerability of the environment and the glacial sedimentary cover in the Arctic regions of northern Europe, and the thick weathering crust and more densely populated nature of the target areas in the Iberian and Central European belts influence the mineral exploration in different ways. Therefore the new environmentally sound exploration concepts and technologies will be optimized and tested on diverse mineral deposit types. A dedicated work package on Social License to Explore will generate knowledge and tools that help the industry to improve their relationships with local actors and communities.