• February 20, 2023

Geometallurgy – A Critical Element in the Development of Mineral Deposits for the Energy Transition Session

Published on February 20th, 2023

Join CSA Global Consultant, Geochemistry David Kaeter when he presents during the 2023 PDAC Convention Week on “Geometallurgy – A Critical Element in the Development of Mineral Deposits for the Energy Transition” between March 5-8, 2023, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Canada.

Critical Metals: Geology and Mineralogy Technical Program – Commences at 10.00 am.
Driven by the green energy transition, the emerging demand for critical metals such as lithium and rare earth elements requires innovative geological concepts, exploration strategies, and techniques. A combination of overview presentations and case studies will outline approaches required for the discovery and development of battery and magnet metal deposits.

Topic: Geometallurgy: A critical element in the development of mineral deposits for the energy transition
Time: 10.49 am – 11.13 am
Location: MTCC, South Building, Room 717
Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Unprecedented growth in demand for the commodities needed for low-carbon-energy technologies requires innovative solutions for mineral production and refinement from unconventional deposits. An enhanced understanding of the materials present in such deposits is needed, not only for projecting material characteristics into all downstream processes, but also to contribute to the sustainable development of mineral resources in alignment with ESG standards and frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy.

The overall aim is to maximize the value of an asset by optimizing recoveries and usage of water, energy, and reagents, while minimizing waste, emissions, and environmental footprint. When evaluating critical-mineral deposits, it is essential to look beyond grades and consider rock-mass characteristics, metal-deportment, gangue mineralogy, and potential deleterious components as early as possible. While this benefits the development of all mineral resources, deposits of the niche commodities required for the energy transition commonly display more mineralogical variability and geological complexity than deposits of more conventional metals such as copper or zinc. Additionally, deposit models for most of these niche metals are not as advanced as those for traditional commodities, which poses further challenges to exploration, mining, and closure planning. For example, rare-earth elements or battery metals such as lithium and manganese occur in a wide range of minerals, only a few of which are currently economically recoverable. Furthermore, gangue mineralogy impacts comminution processes and metal recovery, and has implications for the environmental behavior of tailings and waste rock.

Addressing these geological and mineralogical nuances of rare-earth element and battery-metal deposits requires lateral thinking and novel approaches often not considered in traditional exploration and resource development. The presentation will discuss specific examples of those intricacies and will provide recommendations on what types of data to collect and which technologies to apply to map all relevant downstream processes and ultimately derive resource block models that capture the true value of a deposit.

David Kaeter, Pim van Geffen, Michael Cronwright; CSA Global


David Kaeter
Consultant, Geochemistry

With a strong academic background in geochemistry, mineralogy and economic geology, David is passionate about leveraging his abilities in mineral exploration and mining to enhance ore-body knowledge, maximize the value derived from geochemical, geological, and metallurgical data, and reduce risk early on. He is driven by curiosity and a conviction that the integration of geoscience over the whole mining cycle is essential for successful and sustainable mining projects. Over the last decade, David gained in-depth experience with analytical geochemistry, petrography, and petrology enabling him to decipher the processes and rock properties hidden in geochemical and mineralogical datasets.  David is comfortable using specialist statistical, geochemical, and geospatial software to validate and interpret his observations within the 3D-geological context. This allows him to provide guidance on the application of analytical methods, extract additional value from routine geoscientific surveys, and contribute to a better characterization of ore and waste materials, to ultimately support mineral exploration, metallurgical process optimization, and environmental management.


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