Solsa field tests
SOLSA FIELD TESTS – A fruitful experience of transfer from lab to mine
The first field tests of the European collaborative project SOLSA took place from 15 to 30 September 2018 at the SODICAPEI’s bauxite mine (VICAT), located in Villeveyrac in southern France. SOLSA is a research and development project led by ERAMET, entirely funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. Its goal is to produce an exploration prototype that combines drilling, using sonic technique, and mineralogical and chemical determination, using combined techniques, of samples coming out of the corer.
Photo Altitude Production
Although the prototype is not yet fully finalized, it has been decided to test, for the first time, its technical feasibility in an industrial environment, in France and on a mining site whose characteristics are similar to those of the Caledonian lateritic profiles. The 3 modules DRILL (drilling), ID (identification) and SOFTWARE (database), constituting the prototype, have clearly shown their strengths and weaknesses, the latter of which have been extremely instructive, in particular on the targeted modifications to be made.
The 15 to 20 participants perfectly ensured, in field mode and with great reactivity, the industrial and academic knowledge and technologies of the sectors concerned, namely (1) Exploration and Mining, (2) Instrumental and analytical component, (3) Data management and processing. The partners involved are partly private companies, such as EIJKELKAMP SonicSampDrill, Le Nickel-SLN, ERAMET RESEARCH, THERMOFISHER and partly public and academic organizations such as BRGM, CNRS-CRISMAT and the Universities of Trento, Verona, Caen, Vilnius and Delft. In addition, three students in the fields of geology, physics and audio-visual, in the framework of the SOLSA School’s knowledge transfer program, participated in the test, which brings the number of students who benefited from it to about 15.
We thank the European Commission whose funding makes it possible to carry out this ambitious project, the Consortium’s partners who worked to ensure that these tests were carried out under the best possible conditions, the SODICAPEI’s management and team who gave us access to their mining land and provided valuable administrative and logistical assistance, and the UNAPEI association which provided us healthy meals. Furthermore, this experiment was filmed by Altitude Production Company for communication purposes, the film will be coming soon.