Millennium Nucleus Center Metals Tracing along Subduction – NMTM
Impact Area: Environment
The Millennium Nucleus Center Metals Tracing along Subduction (NMTM) seeks to understand how metals concentrate and form large deposits in the crust.
Today, it is under discussion whether giant deposits have one mode of formation or if they represent the extreme end of a continuous spectrum of sizes, formed by the effect of an optimum convergence of geological processes. This evidence has accumulated in recent decades, recognizing important factors which include particular tectonic configurations, reactive host rocks or flow of fluids highly focused that are not unusual per se, but that make more efficient the process of concentration of metals.
Considering that mining is one of the pillars of the Chilean economy, the country faces the ongoing challenge of maintaining the sector’s growth. Competitiveness and sustainability also depends on constant development in basic science that impacts exploration and exploitation, and on the value added to commodities (Cu, Au, Fe and Mo) through, for example, byproducts of “critical elements” such as rhenium, uranium and elements of the rare grounds group.
Therefore, a better understanding of the factors controlling the location of large mineral deposits is crucial for the development of more effective and environmentally sustainable exploratory techniques. One of the goals of NMTM is to generate, through investigation of fundamental aspects of economic geology, an impact on the exploration of new resources in Chile and the world.