This article is published as an external submission via the EFGeoBlog. It does not reflect the official positions of the European Federation of Geologists. 

On 14-16 February 2024, Casa de la Ciencia de Sevilla hosted the Second Edition of the RawMatCop Advanced Short Course, on the use of Earth Observation in the Raw Materials sector.

The course, titled “Advanced Applications of Remote Sensing in Raw Materials” was organized in the framework of the EIT Raw Materials Project “RawMatCop Alliance”, coordinated by the University of Bologna. The first edition was previously held in Bologna in June 2023.

Six trainers delivered the course with backgrounds in geophysics, remote sensing, and engineering from five different European countries and representing all three sides of the EIT knowledge triangle (Higher Education, Industry and Research). These trainers covered the various aspects of the whole mining value chain (from exploration to post-closure).

Nineteen participants (geologists, geophysicists, mining and environmental engineers) coming from the Andalusia Region but also from all over Europe, and mainly working in exploration, mining and remediation projects, learned how to manage satellite images in various applications: exploration, acid mine drainage, mine monitoring and ground deformation, using R programming and Python.

The participants of the Second Edition of the RawMatCop Advanced Short Course held in Seville. 

The three days of the course concluded with a practical exam project selected from a set of topics defined by the trainers. By presenting the results from the project to the group, all participants could obtain the “RawMatCop Academy” Certificate, supported by the European Federation of Geologists and by EIT Raw Materials.

The choice of Casa de la Ciencia de Sevilla for the second short course was not made by chance. Andalusia Region is experiencing a new renaissance of exploration and mining activities, along with other areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The institutional coordinator of Casa de la Ciencia, Margarita Paneque, and the delegate of EIT Raw Materials South Spain RIS Hub, Diana Fernandez del Campo, joined the course and highlighted the economic, social and strategic importance of exploration and mining activities in Sevilla and the Andalusia Region, particularly remarking the great push of the Regional Government in promoting the reactivation of the mining sector in the recent years. The action is totally in line with the policy of the European Critical Raw Materials Act, aiming to reach 10% of mineral exploitation in Europe.

At the end of the course, the participants and trainers had the unique opportunity to visit the Casa de la Ciencia exhibitions, accompanied by a local guide: The Power of Crystals (with installation and 3D visualization of the Pulpí giant crystal geode) and GeoSeville (a minerals’ collection of more than two hundred pieces all from the Andalusia Region).

A third edition of the RawMatCop Advanced Short Course is scheduled for the 9th to the 11th of September 2024 at the Université de Liège, Belgium, back-to-back with the 8th International Geologica Belgica Meeting 2024, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the “Société Géologique de Belgique”.

The trainers will once again be the experts from the 1st and 2nd edition of the course, more specifically: T. M. Rasmussen, Professor at Lulea University of Technology, I. Marzan, Researcher at Spanish National Research Centre, E. Ibrahim, founder of the NOVOJY Company, C. Kohler, Lecturer at Technical University of Freiberg, L. Andreani, Independent Consultant and S. Kasmaeeyazdi, Researcher at University of Bologna.

Environmental engineer and PhD in Geoengineering, Georesources and Geotechnical Engineering. He is currently senior assistant professor at the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering of the University of Bologna. His main activity deals with georesources’ characterization and exploitation. He has worked in several professional and research projects related to energy, geothermal and mining. Since 2022, he is the Coordinator of the RawMatCop Alliance Project, managing the administrative issues and assuring the correct and timely functioning of the activities.

Contributor: Francesco Tinti

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering (DICAM) – University of Bologna

Disclaimer: This article expresses the personal opinions of the author. These opinions may not reflect the official position of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG).