Laboratories

Geology & Sustainable Mining (GSM)

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Geology & Sustainable Mining (GSM)

GSM

SYNTHETIC DESCRIPTION

 

In close collaboration with OCP Group (Industrial Development / Geology and Mining, Innovation Situation, Mining operations, ...) and the Benguerir Experimental Mine, UM6P’s Geology & Sustainable Mining Department (GSM), develops R&D activities in three main areas:

  • Multi-scale geochemical characterization of Moroccan phosphate deposits, mainly targeting the valorizing / penalizing elements and integrating the monitoring of these elements along the value chain. This project is mainly based on the capabilities of the OCP-UM6P Geo-Analytical Lab in terms of analysis and micro-analysis and on a partnership with Geosciences Montpellier (France).
  • Mining and beneficiation of phosphates in a context of sustainable development, integrating hydro-geophysical imaging of deposits, optimization of extraction and beneficiation processes, recovery of wastes and restoration of mining sites, in partnership with the Institute of Research in Mines and Environment (IRME) of UQAT (Canada). The purpose of this research area is to propose sustainable solutions to meet the future constraints of mining operations such as thick overburdens, water saturated deposits, exploitation of very low-grade phosphates and compliance with environmental standards.
  • Exploration of new mineral resources of igneous origin for the fertilizer industry and the development of innovative and environmentally friendly fertilizers. This is a joint project with the AgroBiosciences department of UM6P and Félix Houphouët Boigny University (Côte d’Ivoire) with the mission to develop fertilizers adapted to tropical soils and using local resources in potassic rocks.

 

In addition to permanent and affiliate research professors, engineers, technicians and national and international experts, GSM has several PhD candidates and postdocs highly involved in the research activities of the department. GSM, in partnership with the OCP Geology department, is in charge of the OCP-UM6P laboratories: "Geo- Analytical Lab" and "Geophysical Lab" which are being developed in Benguerir. Most of the department's R&D and training activities are supported by partnerships with organizations and other Moroccan universities (MEMDD, UCAM, UH2C, UMIM, ENSMR ...) and international institutions (UM, UQAT ...).

 

Mission

  • Installation and development of OCP-UM6P laboratories for the analysis and micro-analysis of geological samples, geotechnical characterization, remote sensing for geological exploration and hydro-geophysical imaging ("Geo- Analytical Lab" and "Geophysical Lab").
  • Development of geophysical imaging for phosphate deposits exploration; hydro- geophysical and hydro-geochemical characterization of associated aquifers; applications in key sectors of the Moroccan phosphate deposits.
  • Multi-scale characterization of minor and trace elements in Moroccan phosphate basins; 3D geochemical modelling and study of the speciation of penalizing and valorizing elements; monitoring of these elements along the value chain, in ore and waste materials.
  • Development of an integrated model of "Mine of the future" for the exploitation of Moroccan phosphates, integrating the new geological constraints (deepening and water saturation of deposits), the environmental need to preserve the agricultural soils and to rehabilitate the sites, but also innovations resulting from automation and digitization.
  • Blasting optimization taking the geotechnical characteristics and integrating numerical modeling, with the aim of reducing nuisances and improving the overall performance of the drilling-blasting-stripping set of operations.
  • Development of a mining reconciliation model integrating extraction and beneficiation operations of Moroccan phosphates.
  • Valorization of waste generated by the extraction and beneficiation of phosphates: development of a direct flotation method adapted to low-grade phosphates, use of sterile cover and interbedded layers as by-products, valorization of waste dumps from rock removal, sieving stations, and washing plants, as well as washings sludges, via the recovery of the phosphate fraction and / or valuable products.
  • Exploration of new resources in Morocco for the fertilizers and phosphates industries (potash, sulfur, igneous phosphates ...) and evaluation in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa of potential resources for new generations of environmentally friendly fertilizers, adapted to tropical soils.
  • Development of new indirect methods of characterization of agricultural soils, combining remote sensing and sub-surface geophysics (transversal project with the AgBS department).
  • Coordination of an international and multidisciplinary research project on phosphatogenesis of phosphate deposits.
  • Valorization of the paleontological patrimony of Moroccan phosphates.