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FUTURE - FIBER-OPTIC SENSING AND UAV-PLATFORM TECHNIQUES FOR INNOVATIVE MINERAL EXPLORATION

Durata:
24 mesi (2022 - 2024)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
National Research
Ente finanziatore:
MINISTERO ( MINISTERO UNIVERSITA' E RICERCA)
Codice identificativo progetto:
ERAMIN3_00112
Ruolo PoliTo:
Partner

Abstract

FUTURE is a multi- and cross-disciplinary project that aims at developing new seismic, electromagnetic and magnetic methods for deep exploration targeting with unprecedented penetration, sensitivity, and resolution. Essentially, the methods are (1) a surface-borehole-tunnel distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology that utilizes fiber-optic cables and wireless recorder sensing, and (2) a UAV-EM-Mag platform. These technologies will be tested at two sites: (1) An iron-oxide mineralized region in central Sweden (Ludvika Mines). The target bodies are open down-dip, and their geometry appears to be controlled by a number of fault systems. The deepest boreholes in the Ludvika Mines site were drilled in the early 70s and have 1-inch diameter, hence the simultaneous borehole-surface DAS data acquisition will not only make the deployment of a fiber-optic DAS array possible but will also produce an improved velocity model that is necessary for advanced depth imaging algorithms. UAV-EM-Mag surveys will help to optimize planning of a new seismic profile to study the lateral extent of the deposits and possible major fault systems in the area. (2) Tabular gold-bearing conglomerate layers (reefs) sandwiched between quartzites and volcanic rocks at a depth of ca. 3500 m in South Africa (South Deep Gold Mine). Innovative numerical modeling and guided-wave analysis will be used to investigate the seismic response of the orebody between the surface, mine tunnels, and underground boreholes. A sparse surface 3D array will also record both active and passive seismic data. The experiments require the development of a new ultra-accurate GPS-time transmitter with longer time durability and accuracy. Four work packages are planned: (1) Coordination and Communication, (2) Innovative surface-tunnel-borehole seismic sensing, (3) UAV-EMMag surveys and solutions, and (4) Integration. Topics range from fundamental research to practical applications. The target technology readiness level will be 6-7, i.e., the envisaged solutions will be demonstrated using real exploration examples. If successful, the outputs will significantly improve the capabilities to detect and characterize deep orebodies, opening possibilities for new discoveries that are essential for the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The development of highly skilled researchers and practitioners is equally important. The project team is also acutely aware of the impact that exploration and mining can have on the environment, and will ensure that this is minimized. The project team includes researchers from universities, a geological survey, equipment manufacturers, and mining companies in Sweden,Italy, South Africa, and France. The involvement of experienced organizations such as the Geological Survey of Sweden, University of the Witwatersrand, Uppsala University, Politecnico di Torino, University of Venda, Sercel, Nordic Iron Ore AB, and South Deep Gold Mine assist both in achieving the scientific goals, and communicating with stakeholders and the public. Research sites on two continents will support the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Persone coinvolte

Dipartimenti coinvolti

Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE10_7 - Physics of earth’s interior, seismology, volcanology

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 12. Garantire modelli sostenibili di produzione e di consumo|Obiettivo 15. Proteggere, ripristinare e favorire un uso sostenibile dell’ecosistema terrestre

Budget

Costo totale progetto: € 1.164.571,00
Contributo totale progetto: € 731.875,00
Costo totale PoliTo: € 216.596,00
Contributo PoliTo: € 141.800,00