Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         

A second research area has been identified by Germany’s Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung, BGE) for investigating terrestrial and airborne geophysical exploration methods that can provide reliable information for identifying a suitable site for hosting a high-level radioactive waste repository.

The GeoMetEr research project has been running since March and is being implemented by BGE together with eight other research partners. The goal of the EUR8.8 million (USD9.5 million) project, which will run until the end of 2028, is to develop and investigate geophysical measuring methods for above-ground exploration programmes in two research regions. The new measuring methods are aimed at achieving minimally invasive exploration of the site regions.

Two geologically different research regions, which had already been excluded from the site selection process, have now been named for testing the exploration methods.

An area located near the municipality of Langenweissbach, Saxony, in the Ore Mountains had earlier been selected for the examination of the crystalline host rock, building on a previous research project at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg. The region was excluded from the repository site search due to active fault zones and influences from current or previous mining activity.

Now an area covering around 150 square kilometres has been chosen in the south of Baden-Württemberg for investigating the overburden of a mountain area. The area extends over the municipality of Sauldorf and the neighbouring municipalities of Wald, Herdwangen-Schönach, Messkirch, Pfullendorf, Leibertingen in the district of Sigmaringen, Mühlingen and Hohenfels in the district of Konstanz and Neuhausen ob Eck in the district of Tuttlingen. The region was excluded from the site selection process because of seismic activity.

In the selected regions, the suitability and informative value of various geophysical measuring methods and method combinations are to be examined more closely. The focus is on three measurement methods: seismic, magnetic and electromagnetic measurements from the air, and one research well per research region.

Various geophysical measuring methods are to be tested in the Sauldorf research region by 2027. These include 2D seismic, airborne magnetic and electromagnetic measurements. In addition, in a next step, BGE and its project partners are planning to determine an area of ​​25 hectares in which high-resolution 3D seismics and a research borehole of up to 600 metres depth are to be carried out. In addition, testing of magnetic and electromagnetic measurements with helicopters and drones is planned for autumn 2023.

The first magnetic and electromagnetic measurements from the air as well as the first seismic measurements are planned in the Langenweissbach research region from winter 2023.

The experiences and results collected will then be brought together in order to develop and optimise exploration strategies for the two research regions.

In September 2020, BGE published a list of potential storage sites in Germany for radioactive waste. It identified 90 areas covering 54% of the country’s surface area as potentially geologically suitable. The report excluded a site at a former salt mine in Gorleben that was previously thought suitable. The selected site would store about 1900 containers of waste, which account for 5% of Germany’s total nuclear waste but 99% of its radioactivity. A final decision is scheduled for 2031 with the aim to start using the selected site in 2050.