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INFACT project – a novel approach to the mining exploration in Europe

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Marko Komac
President at European Federation of Geologists
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INFACT project – a novel approach to the mining exploration in Europe
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About speaker

Marko Komac
President at European Federation of Geologists

Assoc. Prof. Marko Komac, Ph.D., EurGeol #1294, currently an independent consultant, the President of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), an external researcher at the Faculty for civil engineering at the University of Ljubljana, an Associate Professor for GIS at University of Nova Gorica and a Member of the Intraw Observatory Board as the Treasurer. From 2006 to 2014 Marko was the director of the Geological Survey of Slovenia where he also worked as a part-time researcher. From November 2016 to May 2019 Marko was the member of the Board of EFG, where he served as the External Relations Officer. From 2012 to 2016 he was a Vice-President of the IUGS, and in years 2011 and 2012 he was the President of the EuroGeoSurveys. He has more than 22 year experiences in the field of landslide analyses, geographical information systems (GIS), application of remote sensing in geology, spatial analyses and modelling, geostatistics, mass-movements analyses, management of organisations and teams, and international networking. Currently he’s involved in several EU-funded geological projects. He's an author or co-author of over 500 bibliographic units mainly from the above listed research areas and several times IronMan 70.3 finisher.

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Exploration is the crucial 1st stage in the raw materials (RM) chain & has the goal of discovering economically viable deposits of RM. Periods of significant discovery directly follow innovations that either change the geological targets of exploration (fundamental theories), the physical places that are reached (regions and depths), or the manner in which they are explored (techniques and methods). Despite its rich history of mining and residual MR, current conditions within the EU present a number of social, political, legislative, cost & physical barriers to RM exploration: barriers to be overcome by innovation, dialogue & reform.
Recognising that the future of sustainable exploration requires a reduction in environmental & social disturbance, the INFACT project focuses on innovative exploration techniques that are ‘non-invasive’ (airborne geophysics and remote sensing). The project includes investigation of the social aspects of RM exploration by integrating technological innovation & stakeholder engagement (encompassing local communities, wider society & industry) in order to encourage best-practice exploration conduct, measure public perceptions & improve relevance to industry & society alike.

INFACT is comprised of the following main components:

• Development & test of innovative, environmentally & socially ‘acceptable’ exploration technologies and processes - in an industrially-relevant environment,
• Foundation of 3 reference sites (ERS) in EU (Sakatti, FIN; Geyer, GER; and Cobre Las Cruces and Rio Tinto, ESP) for demonstration, benchmarking & certification of new technologies & analysis of public awareness & opinion in the south, middle & north of EU, and
• Stakeholder engagement & education: exploration practitioners, policy-makers & wider society.

A public survey was performed in 3 countries where INFACT aims to establish the ERS on their opinion about the mining & RM exploration & short outcomes on the the survey will be presented.

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