The first field tests of the European collaborative project SOLSA took place from 15 to 30 September 2018 at the SODICAPEI bauxite mine (VICAT), located in Villeveyrac in southern France. SOLSA is a research and development project led by Eramet, entirely funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. Its goal is to produce an exploration prototype that combines drilling, using sonic technique, and mineralogical and chemical determination, using combined techniques, of samples at the exit of the corer.
Although the prototype is not yet fully finalized, it has been decided to test, for the first time, its technical feasibility in an industrial environment, in France and on a mining site whose characteristics are similar to those of the Caledonian lateritic profiles. The 3 modules DRILL (drilling), ID (identification) and SOFTWARE (database), constituting the prototype, have clearly shown their strengths and weaknesses, the latter of which have been extremely instructive, in particular on the targeted modifications to be made.
The 15 to 20 participants perfectly ensured, in field mode and with great reactivity, the industrial and academic knowledge and technologies of the sectors concerned, namely:
1- Exploration and Mining: Eramet (France), SLN (New Caledonia), Eijkelkamp SonicSampDrill (Nederlands).
2- Instrumental and analytical component: ThermoFisher-INEL (France), ERAMET Research (France), BRGM (France).
3- Data management and processing: Universities of Vilnius (Lithuania), Trento (Italy), Verona (Italy) and Caen (France).