Press release I November 2019 I With demand for raw materials higher than ever in Europe, so grew the discrepancies between the need for mining and the social reluctance. The INFACT Horizon 2020 project set out to unlock the unfavourable status of mineral extraction by developing more acceptable technologies to invigorate the exploration industry and map unrealised underground potential throughout Europe.

A grim reputation

From the batteries that power our phones and cars to the solar panels on our roofs, we all rely heavily on minerals, even to the extent that our circular economy can’t cope. Europe historically has never been a stranger to mining, but our current society still sees mining as destructive and unsustainable.

The “Innovative, Non-invasive and Fully ACceptable exploration Technologies” (INFACT) project interweaves technical and social actions to reduce barriers to exploration.

The power of video

INFACT documented their journey on video, showcasing these more effective, sustainable and acceptable practices. Interviewing different stakeholders and using helicopters and drones to feature high-tech tools against the beauty of nature, the end result is a very human documentary touching on the essence of the challenges they face and the solutions at hand. This video was filmed over four seasons, charting the unrealised potential in new and mature areas in Germany (Geyer), Finland (Sakatti) and Spain (Minas de Ríotinto, Gerena).

A glimpse of a better exploration

The studies performed over these reference sites will lead to a label for sustainable technologies in mineral exploration to minimise both the impact on the environment and disturbances to the communities. INFACT partners are also collecting data outside the sites: legislation, land-use, access to finance and more, producing a European Roadmap for Exploration that will serve as an invitation for companies to conduct responsible exploration in the EU.

Discover the video:


Photo: Drone survey Rio Tinto tailings. Credit: Robert De La Rosa

The INFACT partners:

Agencia de Innovation y Desarrollo (IDEA), Anglo American Sakatti Oy, Arhus Geo, Atalaya Mining, ATClave, Cobre las Cruces, Dialogik, European Federation of Geologists (EFG), Fraunhofer IAO, GALSA (Geotech), Geognosia, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (coordinator), Oulu Mining School, SRK Exploration Services, Supracon, SYKE, University of Eastern Finland.

For more information:

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf:

Leila Ajjabou I Project coordinator | Phone: +49 (0) 351 260-4461 | Email:

Dr. Richard Gloaguen | Head Exploration Division | Phone: +49 (0) 351 260-4424 | Email:

European Federation of Geologists

Marko Komac I Leader WP7 – Impact creation | Email:

Anita Stein I EFG Communication Manager | Email:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 776487.

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