TRACE: TRACeability of hEterogenite

The TRACE project aims to develop tools oriented towards the analytical traceability of heterogenite, a secondary cobalt ore. The project is conducted in common with the research centre GECO ("Geology for an ECOnomic sustainable development") and the TASK FORCE MIRECA ("Mineral Resources in Central Africa"). The GECO centre federates the competences of the geologists from the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA). Its missions aims to develop the scientific tools allowing the sustainable management and the traceability of natural mineral resources. The Task Force MIRECA has the objective to provide scientific advices helping to the reform of the mining sector in Democratic Republic of Congo. Both teams are financed by the Department of Preventive Diplomacy of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The project hinges on two major parts themselves divided into work packages. Part 1 – Analysis of material and financial flows – will study the overlapping between the official (industry) and unofficial (small-scale) sectors. This study will include field inquiries with associated partners from DRC. Part 2 includes a scientific and technical approach of the analytical traceability of heterogenite. The scientific part follows a multidisciplinary approach including mineralogical, petrological, geochemical analyses and measurements by Raman spectrometry. The bulk of physical and chemical parameters, which can reasonably be applied to execute the traceability, will be covered by this approach. The follow-up and control tools of mineral batches form the main features of the technical approach of traceability.

The relevance of the methodology lies in the fact that it has to take into account the geological, economical and industrial complexity of the heterogenite exploitation, while remaining objective and effective.

Internal member(s)
Yves Vanbrabant
Herman Goethals
Christian Burlet
Other member(s)
Tom Thys
Thierry De Putter
Sophie Decrée
The programme is financed by the Federal Public Service for the Pro Sciences Policy in the frame of the 5th Call in “Support Actions to the strategic priorities of the Federal Autority”.
Partners and sponsors
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