GERRI partners work on the mathematical modelling of deposits, ores, mining, processing, recycling and their economic and ecological effects. Overall goal is the optimisation of the whole value chain of metal production with respect to economic and ecological effects, based on a precise characterisation of raw materials and powerful mathematical models of possible processing technologies. Further fields are the calculation of the criticality of resources (depending on model Reller and others) and the thermo-chemical modelling of phase equilibria by use of thermodynamic databases.
Mathematical modelling, estimation and optimization
Geometallurgical deposit models enclose modelling of composition and microfabric of raw materials, recycling material models are concerned with the modelling of complex particle streams and economic and technical laws governing them. Process models track these properties through the processing systems from individual microprocesses up to long term investment and scheduling decisions. Our unique strength are methods for working with uncertainties like measurement uncertainty, model uncertainty, parameter uncertainty, geostatistical uncertainty, leading to optimal decisions with incomplete knowledge.
- Geometallurgical process modelling and optimisation
Spatial statistics and geostatistics
Stochastic and statistic modelling of spatially and temporally dependent systems like microfabrics, particles, varying material streams and deposits, including stochastic geometry, linear and nonlinear geostatistical modelling. Our unique strength are multivariate nonlinear geostatistical methods and non-Euclidean data types, like compositions, microfabric, liberation, etc.
- Potential modelling, ore body modelling and simulation
Compostitional data analysis
Data is compositional, if it describes things as part of a sample, like chemical or mineralogical compositions. Classical linear statistical methods are not applicable to this type of data, as they lead to methodological artefacts. GERRI substantially contributes to the development of advanced statistical tools for compositional data.
- Mineral potential assessment & geochemical mapping
Economic modelling of deposits, mining, processing, recycling systems and resource markets is integral part of our geometallurgical research and aims at integrating economics into every step of decision making from research targeting to optimal processing. Economics always include the microeconomic view of the miner or investor, the macroeconomic view of society and the long term economic view of ecology. Our unique strength is the integration of economics and technology.
- Economics of the rare earth value chain
The evaluation across economic, ecological , geopolitical and socio-cultural conditions of the availability and use of raw materials serves as a basis for the development of sustainable use strategies. The aim of these modelling tools is to analyze material flows and technologies systematically to create intelligent and sustainable resource concepts and to increase by an integrated system and process analysis the resource efficiency.
- Calculating the criticality of resources
Computational thermochemistry is used in a diverse range of applications and provides a flexible solution platform for complex thermochemical problems. Main operational area in the field of raw materials is process optimization e.g. considering thermodynamic equilibria for slag design, liquidus calculations as well as modelling of vapor pressure curves, EpH or phase diagrams. The model results are strongly dependent on available databases. GERRI is in close contact to modelling developer, so that special requirements or database creation may be easily facilitated. Flowsheeting in the geometallurgy and minerals and metals processing field is permitted. Furthermore GERRI is linked to an environmental footprinting software which enables the analysis of environemental impact of innovative and resource efficient solutions.