St Andrews research team hunt rare minerals for gadgets production

Dr Adrian Finch of St Andews University, pictured here working on mineral exploration in south east Greenland.

Dr Adrian Finch of St Andews University, pictured here working on mineral exploration in south east Greenland.

1
Have your say

A team of Scots scientists are to search for rare mineral depsits across Europe that could help create the gadgets of the future.

The team from University of St Andrews will set out to locate the rare earths and phosphates used in almost every modern device, from mobile phones to MRI scanners.

I am very excited to be working alongside some of the other world experts on finding and understanding natural critical resources in Europe

Dr Adrian Finch of the University of St Andrews

Less than three per cent of the supply of critical raw materials is currently sourced directly from Europe.

However, experts believe that there is a wealth of as-yet-unexplored deposits located across the continent, which could be successfully mined.

Dr Adrian Finch, of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews, said: “I am very excited to be working alongside some of the other world experts on finding and understanding natural critical resources in Europe.

READ MORE: 5 unusual venues for your next Glasgow business meeting

“St Andrews has a long and distinguished tradition in mineralogy, the geology and resources and the geology of the Arctic, all of which are coming together in this project.”

The St Andrews team has been allocated £290,000 of a total of £4.2m granted by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for the work.

The project will use mineralogy, petrology and geophysics techniques to create advanced exploration models to determine where the valuable minerals can be found.

The four-year project, which begins this month involves 12 partners, including five universities, staff from two national geological surveys and the Natural History Museum, London.

Four industry partners will also offer their world-leading expertise and transfer their expertise from Africa to Europe for the project.

The team held its first meeting at the Natural History Museum in London this week.

Back to the top of the page