Low cost surveys for high-technology metals: Applying field portable instruments under quasi-realistic conditions in Subsaharan Africa
Critical, high technology elements (e.g., REEs, P, Co, In, Ga, Ge and W) play an essential role in innovative and green technologies. Many of these critical mineral commodities occur in Subsaharan Africa, where access to costly analytical methods is frequently limited. Together with our African project partners, we develop low-cost, yet technologically advanced methods to characterize high-technology metal resources. Portable XRF (X-Ray Flourescence) and IR (Infrared) spectrometers will be applied to challenges along the mining value chain.
The main aims of the BMBF-funded LoCoSu project are:
- Optimize portable XRF (pXRF) methods to qualitatively and quantitatively identify high-technology metal ores
- Recommend standard operating procedures and analytical protocols for pXRF analysis of high-technology elements
- Collaborate with and train the next generation of earth scientists and mine-site professionals
The wider use of low-cost portable field instruments is not only crucial for resource evaluation, but particularly for environmental monitoring in Subsaharan African countries with restricted access to financial support.