Research on primary mineral resources receives €4m funding boost

23 May 2014

The six successful applicants for the Academy of Finland’s funding call in research on primary mineral resources were announced on 23 May 2014. The funding for the six projects totals four million euros. In comparison, the total funding applied for in the call was some 24 million euros. The funding was made available through the Finnish Government’s third supplementary budget proposal, which included an increase in the Academy of Finland’s allocation authority for 2013 with a view to boosting knowledge-based growth in Finland.

Examples of projects funded:

Rauno Sairinen (University of Eastern Finland) heads a project investigating the contents and societal preconditions of the social licence to operate (SLO) concept in the context of the mining industry. The project, a comparative analysis between Finland, Australia and Canada, will study the effects of socio-cultural circumstances on social acceptance. The project is divided into five research tasks: 1) conceptual analysis of SLO approaches; 2) comparative analysis of the social acceptance of mining; 3) relationship between regulatory arrangements and SLO; 4) local protests and SLO; and 5) future challenges of SLO. The project’s research methodology is both qualitative and quantitative. The project will be implemented in partnership with Australian and Canadian universities.

Saara Kaski (University of Jyväskylä) heads the LASEREE project, which develops practical means for near-real-time analysis of minerals and rare-earth elements in ore. Much money and waste material could be saved each year if this information were readily available at mining sites. The project’s approach combines three spectroscopic methods (Raman, LIF and LIBS) to analyse the elemental content and composition samples containing rare-earth elements. The uniqueness of the project comes from the fact that the researchers are able to excite and detect the spectroscopic signal in a very short time window using time-gated laser spectroscopy. The project combines top expertise in spectroscopic studies of minerals (University of Jyväskylä), ultra-fast time-gating electronics (University of Oulu) and short-pulse spectroscopic lasers (Tampere University of Technology) to achieve a breakthrough in the fast and affordable analysis concept of valuable minerals.

Ferenc Molnár (Geological Survey of Finland) heads a joint research consortium between the Geological Survey of Finland and the University of Oulu aiming to support the development of knowledge-based, environmentally friendly and cost-effective exploration methods capable of predicting mineral resources under cover. The consortium combines the expertise of leading ore researchers, which together with the large datasets and modelling capacity of geophysicists, GIS and mineral potential specialists will allow for a quantitative evaluation of the mineral potential in the Lapland region of Finland by applying modern concepts of ore formation and cutting-edge analytical methods. The consortium includes 28 researchers, including partners form the universities of Colorado State, Stockholm, St Andrews, Cardiff and Lorraine.

More information:

  • Programme Manager Tommi Laitinen, tel. +358 295 335 057, and Programme Manager Tuomas Katajarinne, tel. +358 295 335 067, firstname.lastname(at)
  • List of projects funded 

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Leena Vähäkylä
tel. +358 295 335 139

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