Special Issue "Traceability of Minerals and Metals via Geochemical Fingerprinting"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 113

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Xuan Liu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. Box 96, FI-02151 Espoo, Finland
Interests: isotope geochemistry; mineral deposits; mass spectrometry
Hydrometallurgy and Corrosion, Circular Raw Materials Hub, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Interests: hydrometallurgy; electrochemistry; leaching; circular economy; resource recovery; corrosion; metals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The traceability of minerals and metals refers to the ability to identify and trace the history, location, distribution, and application of the product, part, and material in the supply chain. It is widely considered as a key enabler for pursuing UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it ensures and enhances supply chain transparency, which is vital for mitigating economic, social, and environmental impacts alongside enormous raw material production and consumptions. The importance of mineral and metal traceability is partly reflected by various legislations mandating the disclosure of information about raw materials such as the European Raw Material Act (2023).

Using geochemical and isotopic signatures of ore minerals and refined metals have been demonstrated as a potential tool for upstream traceability (the so-called 3TG conflict minerals, Franken et al., 2012, Geoscientific and Societal Challenges, pp.213‒227) and even whole-chain traceability (lithium, Desaulty et al., 2022, Nature Communications, 13, p.4172). A similar concept has been widely adopted in provenancing metal artefacts in archaeology. In these successful studies, three types of knowledge are fundamental, deposit-scale homogeneity, global-scale uniqueness, and along-chain trackability. Homogeneity means that the target geochemical signatures should be invariable across different generations (time) and locations (space) within the ore minerals; uniqueness means the signatures of the target deposit should be distinctive compared to other deposit worldwide; trackability means that the signatures should be conservative along the supply chains.

With a mounting interest in raw material traceability, it is reckoned that more proof-of-concept studies should be carried out. This Special Issue, “Traceability of Minerals and Metals via geochemical fingerprinting”, is specifically devoted to such proof-of-concept studies. It is hoped that this SI may provide the first opportunity of its kind for communicating and publishing novel results on mineral and metal traceability.

The SI will welcome all submissions concerning traceability concept and techniques, but a preference will be given to mineral deposit studies and geometallurgy that address the deposit-scale homogeneity and along-chain trackability issues. The SI has no preferences about the raw material under study. The material could be critical or strategic or neither, and it could be industrial metals, construction materials, or even gemstones.

Dr. Xuan Liu
Dr. Iryna Makarava
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • traceability
  • mineral deposit
  • geochemical fingerprinting
  • isotopic tracing
  • geometallurgy
  • supply transparency

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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