Unlocking big opportunities in small packages: Application of novel nano-scale studies to enhancing mineral exploration and mining efficiency Year Two
Mineral exploration generates billions of dollars for the Canadian economy. Any tool that increases exploration or extraction efficiencies by 1-2% creates economic returns of tens of millions of dollars. Advancements in nanotechnologies now allow characterization of samples at unprecedented resolution. The mining industry represents an untapped opportunity in this field because it lags behind the material science and semiconductor industries in highresolution sample analysis. The in situ characterization of ore deposit minerals at the nanoscale will help to better understand their genesis, improve exploration, and increase extraction efficiencies. This requires advanced scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM/TEM) techniques and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technologies. Fibics Incorporated is a world leader in high-resolution SEM, FIB imaging, and sample preparation. Through this collaboration Fibics will tap into the large mineral exploration and mining sector. This project will develop a rapid, high-resolution imaging and analytical procedure to improve mineral exploration and mining efficiency.