GIS Day 2019 | Mineral and Mining Mapping for the EBRD

Today is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day!

The growing shift across multiple sectors towards sustainability, innovation and new technologies has resulted in an ever-increasing need for a lasting supply of Critical Raw Materials. Recycling is unable to suffice this growing demand and minimal mining of these non-energy raw materials occurs throughout Europe.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have recognised the need to grow a sustainable and transparent supply chain of these materials across the EU and their associated Countries of Operation (COO). One of the first steps in this process has to be to gain knowledge on the availability of these materials, thus leading way to a database that simply didn’t exist.

Wardell Armstrong International were commissioned by the EBRD to assist them in filling this initial gap in knowledge. A multidisciplinary team of exploration geologists, GIS specialists, researchers and environmental and social specialists across our Stoke, London and Truro offices jumped at the opportunity to assist in this important period of change within the industry.

Research on 26 Critical Raw Materials produced in 19 of the EBRD’s COOs including: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan was undertaken, utilising a broad range of open source data. After ten weeks of research, the team created a dataset with over 9,000 records detailing: the locations of mineral resources, mine name (and alternative names), commodity, deposit amounts (past, present and potential), reserves, grade, processing plants and more!

To display this data in a dynamic environment, an open source JavaScript library was used to build a web map application enabling the client to toggle layers, pan and zoom and interrogate points for more information. This provides a tool that the client can use in meetings as opposed to presenting a series of static PDFs and accompanying tables across a vast geographical area.

The invaluable source produced has been supplemented by commentary on all countries of interest as well as an overview of the key risks to investment within the mining industry. This cohesive pack of data aims to assist the EBRD in facilitating decisions as they work with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology Raw Materials (EIT RM), a part of the EU’s efforts to develop a sustainable and competitive minerals, metals and materials sector in Europe.

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