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.

Unlocking big opportunities in small packages: Application of novel nano-scale studies toenhancing mineral exploration and mining efficiency

Recent advancements in TEM sample preparation techniques using the latest generation of dual focused ion and electron beam (FIB-SEM) instrumentation allows for high-resolution examination of textures, elemental composition and structures of minerals at unprecedented resolution. These instruments enable the extraction of FIB-prepared TEM foils at any desired location of the sample (Wirth, 2004, 2009).