The technical program will address the need for metals of the future and the logistical challenges of exploring for and developing resources while highlighting innovative developments and exploration discoveries. Sessions will cover eight major themes:
SEG 2024 Themes
The Energy Transition: Metals of the Future
Lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel, manganese, vanadium, and graphite will likely be the focus for metals required for energy delivery and storage. A need to reduce the use of fossil fuels could require increasing generation of electricity by nuclear power and a consistent supply of uranium. This session will address the genesis and exploration for energy-specific metals, their production and supply chains, as well as the increasing awareness of geopolitics, security of supply, environmental, social, and governance issues, and markets. Repurposing, reusing, and recycling materials will be addressed.
Specialty Metals and Materials
With the rapid increase in technological development in recent years, a range of metals has come into focus, including germanium, tellurium, gallium, indium, and antimony. Other metals such as tin, tantalum, niobium, and rare earth elements are needed for a range of new technologies. New geologic models are needed to better understand the concentration and occurrence of vital minor metals. This theme includes geologic descriptions, ore deposit models, geochemistry, and case studies of these specialty metals.
Innovative Technology Developments in Mineral Deposit Science
Increasing demand for mineral resources to address net-zero targets requires innovative methodologies and applications of cutting-edge science, such as the increased application of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Re-evaluation of tailings, resource evaluation, micromineralogy, mineral processing, geometallurgy, and site remediation will also be crucial. This theme aims to include all aspects of innovative technology across the supply chain.
Africa's Iconic Ore Deposits
Africa is home to a number of world-class ore districts, and the increased demand for resources has resulted in increased exploration. This has led to world-class finds over the past 10 years, such as at Kamoa-Kakula in the Central African Copperbelt and the Waterberg platinum group element mineralization in the north of the Bushveld Complex. This session will cover the genesis of major ore fields in Africa and exploration for new resources in established ore districts.
New Discoveries and Developments
The pressure to extract more resources has resulted in increased exploration in both global brownfield and greenfield programs. Within the last decade, world-class deposits have been found in a wide range of metallogenic provinces, from rare earth elements in the Arctic frontier to new copper deposits in the Central African Copperbelt. This theme invites contributions discussing major new discoveries and new exploration frontiers.
Resource Development: ESG from Exploration to Remediation
A negative social perception of the resource industry is prominent across the globe. The goal to support green energy solutions can also create a greater risk of social, economic, political, and environmental harm in the surrounding communities. Increased awareness from investors and the public has required companies to justify their business models and take a more responsible attitude toward environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. This theme encourages case studies of positive programs aimed at improving social and environmental impacts.
Gold: Enhanced Discovery and Development
An improved understanding of metallogenic models for gold deposits is advancing our knowledge of processes involved in gold concentration from the microscale to the regional scale. The theme includes processes of enrichment, transport, precipitation, and comineralization, as well as different gold deposit types in Africa and across the globe.
Vital High-Volume Base Metals
The demand for copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, and lead is ever increasing. Advances in new models and technology are helping the exploration industry to discover new resources of these important minerals and meet the requirements of the global population. This theme will include all aspects of exploration of these metals, from genesis and mineral processing to the circular economy.