What are innovation-critical metals and minerals?

The so-called innovation-critical metals and minerals are materials today much needed for the development of renewable power sources (wind and solar power), energy storage (batteries), and hi-tech products (computers and cell phones). These metals and minerals include e.g. indium, cobalt, the rare earth elements and graphite. An absolute majority of these materials are produced outside the EU, and the EC has issued warnings that a lack of these materials may hamper the development in green technology and stall the switchover to fossil-free energy sources.

Field investigations and sampling in Bergslagen

The aim of the project is to increase the knowledge and understanding of the processes that form innovation-critical metal and mineral deposits. This is achieved through multidisciplinary investigations of identified key areas within the Bergslagen ore province and adjacent areas. These investigations include detailed in-field geological mapping and geophysical measurements. Sampling of both primary material (mineralised zones in outcrop and drill cores) and secondary material (mining waste and tailings) for lithogeochemical analysis yield important information of the distribution of innovation-critical metals.

The identified key areas within the Bergslagen ore province are: Venafältet in southern Närke, Tunabergs bergslag south of Nyköping, Gilltjärn-Skrammelfall and Skälsta west of Sigtuna, all of which are known deposits of cobalt and graphite. Investigation of these areas give insights to where and how innovation-critical metal deposits form. The combined datasets of geological observations, geophysical measurements and geochemical analyses provide important base information that can be used as a starting point for future detailed mapping or exploration endeavours in pursuit of innovation-critical metals or minerals.