Mintell4EU WP5 – Improvement of KDPs’ applications and interaction with the RMIS and the EGDI


A number of Raw Materials Knowledge Data Platforms (KDP) have been developed during past EU-projects and constitute the European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB). Many of these KDPs are based on the INSPIRE MR data model as implemented in the Minerals4EU database. This database currently includes the Minerals Inventory (information about primary mineral resources in Europe) and is forming an important part of the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI). One objective of this project is to transfer the e-Minerals Yearbook (e-MYB) into the same database to allow partial automation and sustainability, but also to be able to implement appropriate and streamlined interfaces towards end users through EGDI and external system such as JRC’s Raw Materials Information System (RMIS).

The main aim of WP5 is to:

  • set up the rules of communication/interaction between KDPs and their applications (e.g., the e-MYB and the ProSUM e-Stat module ‘the Urban Mine Platform), and the RMIS.
  • define how structured data and information and non-structured information and knowledge can be delivered to, and be exploited by the RMIS 2.0 via its thematic interface(s), using either Web services such as WMS and WFS, or more sophisticated and dedicated Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and design the prototypes of such applications, having in mind key-functions of the RMIS such as providing information for the Raw Materials Scoreboard.
  • transfer the e-MYB into the Minerals4EU (M4EU) database and set up appropriate systems for harvesting and automation.
  • set up Web services and APIs for exchange of data.
  • communicate with the allocated liaison person in the GeoERA Information Platform project about requirements and guidelines and coordinate the integration of data from the e-MYB and the Minerals Inventory into the EGDI.

Description of work

Task 5.1: Comparative analysis of KDPs resources versus RMIS 2.0 needs (Month 1-12)

Most of the KDPs recently developed (e.g., the IKMS for REE (EURare), the EU-MKDP for all deposit types (Minerals4EU), the EU-UMKDP for the urban mine (ProSUM), the EU-CRMKDP for CRMs (SCRREEN)) are providing data and information and generally store and manage thematic unstructured Knowledge. Some of them have sophisticated applications to exploit their contained data e.g., the e-MYB and the e-Stat ProSUM module. All these ‘services’ are of interest to the RMIS, knowing that (i) the RMIS cannot maintain this data and the harvesting systems or compilation processes that are behind them and (ii) the platforms need to be autonomous in order to ensure their survival. This task will thus examine how KDPs can/should deliver their resources to the RMIS.

T5.1.1: Data (all platforms): Two types of data are considered; those related to primary resources and those related to secondary resources.  The latter include mining wastes on one side and the urban mine (WEEE, ELV and spent batteries) on the other. This task will examine how these data can be utilised by the RMIS and what are the implications for this in terms of selection, format, and conveyor.

T5.1.2: Applications – with a focus on the e-MYB and the ProSUM e-Stat module: what are the needs of the RMIS in terms of pre-computed views?

T5.1.3: Knowledge (all platforms): the idea is to facilitate the RMIS to carry out powerful thematic searches within non-structured knowledge related to REE, CRM, mineral and ore deposits, the urban mine, etc. which is managed by the KDPs, in addition to more generic Web-related searches.

Task 5.2: Identification of architectural requirements and user needs (Month 1-18)

This task will examine the functionalies currently available on the Minerals4EU platform and – together with the entire consortium – identify needs for new functionality(ies) to be provided by the GeoERA Information Platform project. Finally, the principles and guidelines coming out of the GeoERA Information Platform project will be analysed. The main deliverable of the task (D5.2) will be a report containing functional requirements and recommendations for integration activities – both within the current project and within the relevant work packages of the GeoERA Information Platform project. The prototype described in Task 5.7 will initially be based on this deliverable and it will, furthermore, feed into the project management report (D1.3). The task will last until M18 to continuously liaise with the GeoERA Information Platform project and update the list of requirements, which will feed into Task 5.7.

Task 5.3: Integration of e-Minerals Yearbook into the Minerals4EU database (Month 1-26)

This task will explore the current structure of the e-MYB and the Minerals4EU (M4EU) database and any extensions to these datasets as they may be planned by WP2 and WP3. Furthermore, the task will explore the data and workflow that is part of the production of the various statistical data for the Yearbook (Production, Reserves, Resources and Trade). It will deliver – in synergy with the H2020 ORAMA project – a report by M6 recommending steps to be undertaken to integrate the e-MYB in the M4EU database and assessing the possibilities and technical solutions relating to setting up harvesting systems and automation routines (D5.3.1). The second phase of the task will do the actual integration of the e-MYB in the M4EU database and develop the necessary systems for harvesting etc. as recommended by D5.3.1. The integration will be finished in time to allow the second transfer of statistical data by WP2 to be delivered in the new structure. The integration will be described in a report delivered by M26 (D5.3.2).

Task 5.4: Data exchange with RMIS (Month 10-30)

Several situations can be considered. Web Map Services (WMS) or Web Feature Services (WFS) are efficient means to expose structured data and feed GIS applications. However, for complex structured data, the development of a dedicated Application Programming Interface (API) e.g., permitting a user to identify which fields/data are to be retrieved and their format so that they can be incorporated directly into a client application, is a real bonus. For example, a specific Scoreboard indicator for the RMIS may be directly generated from one or more KDP. Data can also be available in the form of tables within unstructured documents (e.g., periodical reports, monographs…) or via semi-structured supports like spreadsheets, and in such a case the development of an Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) process may be beneficial, especially for large datasets. This task will examine these different situations and notably the possible development of APIs for some Scoreboard indicators related to exploration and mining in the EU.

T5.4.1: Review of the different situations with the development of adapted use cases. The interest of an ETL process will be reviewed, but no further development is envisaged here as the setup of this process is too much data (structure) dependant.

T5.4.2: Development of prototype(s) (WFS, WMS, and/or dedicated API(s)). In the case of the RMIS and the access to the Minerals4EU dataset (i.e., structured data on mineral and ore deposits and mining waste), the development of a ERML-Lite-based API can be considered, this initiating a very first step toward a e-Scoreboard. Because a new, fully operational, version of ERML-Lite[1] (Vuollo et al., 2018) has just been released, and because ERML-Lite is incredibly easier ‘to manipulate’ than the full version of ERML, this makes possible to even envisage such a development in the frame of Mintell4EU (e.g., in Work Package 5, Task T5.4).

Task 5.5: KDP’s applications delivery to RMIS (Month 10-30)

If a diagram or a view provided by an application running on the top of an existing Knowledge Data Platform is totally satisfying, then it can be directly integrated within the RMIS via its Thematic Interface. However, if the diagram or the view does not exist or is not compatible with the RMIS, it could be an action of common interest both for KDP operator and the JRC, that the operator develops either a specific view (possibly necessitating the development of a dedicated application) or adapt the existing view and link it to the RMIS as in the first situation above, or even develops a dedicated API. An example of such collaboration could be the ProSUM H2020 project and its EU-UMKDP, and the production of foresight studies and diagrams (not foreseen in the frame of the project).

T5.5.1: Review of the different situations with the development of adapted use cases (based on T5.1 results).

T5.5.2: Development of prototype(s).

Task 5.6: Dedicated search in KDPs from RMIS (Month 10-30)

The RMIS 2.0 should be able to connect to the different Search capabilities of the existing KDPs. In addition to its own search facilities, this would allow the RMIS performing more targeted searches (e.g., on CRM, on REE, on secondary resources like WEEE, BATT or ELV…) and benefiting from already constituted corpora of information and knowledge.

A dedicated ‘Search’ interface will be developed, allowing the end user to perform generic and/or more targeted searches. The idea is for the end user to be able to perform the search directly through the RMIS 2.0 interface, the results being presented within this same interface. This solution relies on the search capabilities of the existing KDPs that are part of the EURMKB.

Technically, this supposes for the existing KDPs to propose a search interface (API) that can be requested from the RMIS. These search interfaces need to be standardized and the use of OpenSearch[2] might be considered. Then the RMIS would have to implement an OpenSearch client to be able to interrogate these KDPs.

T5.6.1: Review of the different situations with the development of use cases (based on T5.1 results).

T5.6.2: Development of prototype(s).

Task 5.7: Integration of data, search and other functionalities into the EGDI (Month 6-36)

Based on communication with the GeoERA Information Platform project during the first six months of the project (Task 5.2), the GeoERA Information Platform project team will set up a prototype portal for the project. The purpose of this will be to start integrating information and develop functionality(ies) already during the course of the projects to ensure a high degree of matureness when the final project results will be delivered. The current task is based on the requirements mapped in Task 5.2 and will liaise with the relevant partners of the GeoERA Information Platform project in order to

  • setup an appropriate prototype,
  • integrate the current Minerals4EU database into the prototype,
  • work with the GeoERA Information Platform project to have the necessary functionality(ies) implemented in the prototype for a later integration into the EGDI,
  • assess together with Tasks 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6 which of the components developed in these tasks should be integrated in the EGDI and
  • provide any relevant feed-back from the GeoERA Information Platform project to the other tasks and WPs in the present project to ensure that any requirements for datasets, formats etc. that are discovered in the process of developing the prototype are taken into account.

This result of this task will be a prototype containing preliminary data and functionality as the consortium agrees are suitable. This prototype will be described in deliverable D5.7.1.

Based on the prototype, the task will in the second phase ensure that the final data, information (including metadata) and developments resulting from the project (T5.4, 5.5 and 5.6) and the prototype are properly integrated into the final EGDI. The task will also ensure that all other relevant resources from the project (documents, descriptions, metadata, etc.) are made available on the EGDI according to the general principles and based on the recommendations of the consortium in the current project. The final deliverable of this task (D5.7.2) will be a report (i) describing how data, information and developments from the project are integrated within the EGDI and (ii) giving guidelines for future maintenance.

[1] Vuollo J., Cassard D., Raymond O., Sexton M., Rattenbury M., Passmore J. (2018). EarthResourceML/INSPIRE Mineral Resources data models and ERML-Lite: Data Standards to Deliver Mineral Resources Data EU and Globally. INSPIRE Conference, 18-21 September, Antwerp, Belgium. Abstract.