Development priorities & perspectives for industrial mineral resources

Mitchell, Clive ORCID: 2021 Development priorities & perspectives for industrial mineral resources. [Lecture] In: Arab Mining Convention, Virtual, 24-26 Feb 2021. British Geological Survey.

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Nations aspiring to achieve sustainable development of their mineral resources focus on mining laws and regulations with the establishment of clear legal, environmental, social and technical boundaries. However, where there is no precedence for mineral resource development, how does a mining industry develop from scratch? This is where the role of government mining departments and geological surveys come into their own. In this presentation, I present my three-point plan for mineral resource development, based on 32 years working with mining departments and geological surveys across the world as an industrial minerals geologist for the British Geological Survey (BGS). 1. Geological Baselines. A good example of a geological baseline is the 10-year programme carried out in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with geological mapping, geophysical surveys including aeromagnetic, gravity and seismic, metallic mineral assessment, industrial mineral assessment (construction, aggregate, limestone and dimension stone), geohazard assessments, seismic monitoring and 3D modelling. In the UK, geological information published by the British Geological Survey (BGS) is available via the OpenGeoscience portal including maps and cross-sections, data, scans, photos, borehole records and other information. One of the most useful is the GeoIndex map viewer 2. Demand-led resource assessment. A-Z inventory of resources was the mineral resource strategy of national Governments for years. More targeted mineral resource assessments employ a ‘minerals for markets’ approach informed by local, regional & international market demand/ trade statistics. Experienced minerals geologists, technical specialists & GIS experts engage with industry to get to know their processes and specifications, carry out regional reconnaissance surveys to identify high-purity resources with potential as industrial raw materials and create Minerals Occurrence Databases (MOD) linked to a Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 3. Communicate, engage, support. Publication of geological and mineral resource information is the next stage with portals providing access to Web Map Services and apps (such as mGeology in the UAE) with all available information on geology, mineral occurrences and land use designations, and online resources for investors including commodity profiles, factsheets and mineral statistics. This needs to be freely accessible online (‘Open Access’) at no cost and with no access barriers such as account passwords. Direct engagement through exhibition stands and presentation of mineral resource surveys at mineral industry conferences e.g. The Mining Show, Fujairah Forum, Big 5 Dubai highlights the potential and maintains contacts with industry and potential investors. In support of potential investors provide contact details for Government staff involved in mineral resource development, adopt an enquiry service approach with a responsive, timely and informative ethos, and facilitate visits and meetings as investors explore the potential for setting up operations. In summary, the three-point plan for mineral development: 1. Geological Baselines: Up to date geological line work & information online via web map services and downloadable maps & reports. 2. Demand-led Resource Assessment: Technical evaluation & data for industrial minerals available online as free maps & reports. 3. Communicate, Engage, Support: Freely accessible information & data, regular engagement with industry & potential investors, and enquiry service approach.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Additional Keywords: industrial minerals; construction materials; resource development; minerals for markets;
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 24 Feb 2021 12:13 +0 (UTC)

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