Minerals and Raw Materials Initiative

Raw materials are now more than ever essential for the sustainable functioning of modern societies. Access to and affordability of mineral raw materials is crucial for the functioning of the EU's economy. In that context, it is the duty of a federal Geological Survey to maintain, enhance and promote the expertise in what Europe defines as metallic minerals and construction materials as well from primary sources (ore bodies, quarries) and secondary sources (scrap recycling), but also to participate in the development of a performing mineralogy laboratory with modern facilities.

During the next 6 years fundamental and applied research projects will focus on the following topics:

  • Characterising the physical properties of raw material and minerals;
  • Investigating the mineralizing processes and characterising Rare Earth Elements both in Africa and in Europe;
  • Identifying the source for raw materials (ornamental stones, rocks and ores, pigments, clays, jewels, ceramic,...) of artefacts and reconstructing the commercial ways to the final users (in collaboration with the Quaternary Environments and Humans research program).

Research projects

01/02/2010 to 31/07/2011

Characterisation of hypersiliceous rocks from Belgium

In this research, outcrops of hypersiliceous rocks, ranging form Cambrium to Tertiary in age, are being mapped. The inter- and intravariability within one outcrop and between different outcrops is being studied by a multidisciplinary approach (petrography, spectrometry and diffractometry).
GECO Project
01/01/2009 to 31/12/2011

GECO: Geology for an ECOnomic sustainable development

The Belgian Federal Government entrusted the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences to develop a ‘centre of excellence’ oriented towards a sustainable management of natural resources, especially those from Democratic Republic of Congo.
TRACE: Traceability of heterogenite
01/11/2008 to 31/10/2009

TRACE: TRACeability of hEterogenite

The TRACE project aims to develop tools oriented towards the analytical traceability of heterogenite, a secondary cobalt ore in Democratic Republic of Congo. The project is conducted in common with the research centre GECO and the TASK FORCE MIRECA.
La Calamine
01/01/2000 to 01/01/2002

La Calamine

This study aims at identifying the geological constraints responsible for the genesis of the La Calamine deposit, as well as of the deep-reaching gossans of the surrounding Zn-Pb vein-type deposits.
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