Enhancing Exploration Efficiency with Digital Tools - The Exploration Information System (EIS)

image de Enhancing Exploration Efficiency with Digital Tools - The Exploration Information System (EIS)

Powering essential technologies like electric vehicles and renewable energy systems, Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are crucial for the European Union success in realising the sustainability objectives of the Green Deal.
However, meeting the escalating demand for elements such as rare earth elements, cobalt, lithium, and others requires secure access to these invaluable resources. To meet the growing demand for CRMs while minimizing environmental impact, efficient mineral exploration is essential. New digital tools play a key role, offering innovative solutions that make processes smoother and improve resource identification, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future.

The EIS Toolkit & EIS QGIS Plugin / EIS Wizard


The EIS Toolkit and EIS QGIS Plugin, cornerstones of the EIS Horizon Europe project, represent a pioneering advancement in software tools for mineral exploration. While the EIS Toolkit serves as a comprehensive library of data and tools, the EIS QGIS Plugin offers a user-friendly interface in QGIS through the EIS Wizard, tailored for the needs of researchers and geologists in the mineral exploration industry.

Andreas Knobloch
“The EIS Wizard will set a new standard for mineral predictive mapping by integrating the mineral system approach into one workflow in the open source QGIS software through the EIS QGIS Plugin”.

Andreas Knobloch, Geologist and Managing Director at Beak Consultants GmBH

The EIS Toolkit is a state-of-the-art collection of existing and newly implemented open-source tools for geoprocessing and data integration using artificial intelligence (AI). The EIS Wizard aims to set a new sector-wide standard for research and education to be used for mineral predictive mapping (MPM) integrating the mineral system approach (MSA) for the first time in one workflow and providing it to the user community in the open-source GIS platform of Quantum GIS.

Figure 1: Schematic overview of integration of mineral
systems approach and mineral predictive mapping in the Exploration Information System

Together, these innovative solutions provide invaluable resources to address the increasing demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) essential for the EU's green and digital transition.

Figure 2: Graphical user interface of the EIS Wizard

Potential Impact

Considering the projected demand for lithium in EU, which needs to triple by 2025 and increase nearly six-fold by 2030, the importance of efficient digital exploration tools like the EIS Toolkit and EIS QGIS Plugin becomes even more evident. While supply has been growing exponentially, it can take anywhere from six to more than 15 years for new lithium projects to come online. Therefore, tools that enhance exploration efficiency are crucial for meeting these demand projections. Furthermore, by facilitating the discovery of these new CRM sources, EIS plays a pivotal role in advancing the deployment of green energy technology. This aligns seamlessly with the EU's steadfast commitment to sustainability.

The EIS project could have an important impact on mineral exploration. By streamlining the identification of areas rich in Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), it will accelerate the exploration process while minimizing environmental disruption. Specifically, by significantly reducing the number of drill sites needed to discover new CRM sources.

The EIS Toolkit and EIS QGIS Plugin represent a pioneering initiative in mineral exploration, offering a transformative approach to achieving sustainability goals. As the EIS Toolkit development is intended to evolve through collaborative efforts, it underscores the importance of enhancing exploration efficiency with digital tools.
Join us on this journey towards sustainability by exploring the latest release of EIS Toolkit and EIS QGIS Plugin on GitHub and contributing to its development:

Figure 3: Public online repository of EIS QGIS Plugin at GitHub