The field of applied mineralogy has always had a basis in a strong community, this has led to to numerous developments that have benefited us all and at MinAssist we have been exploring ways to strengthen that community.
In the early stages of SEM-EDS commercialisation direct input from user groups was a strong driver in development of the technology. However, over the past number of years this has fallen by the wayside. Through various conversations with former user group members it is clear that there is a continued desire for a way connecting users of mineralogy data.
MinAssist has developed a platform to facilitate our community and would like to invite you to help us build this by joining the beta test of the Applied Mineralogy User Community (AMUC). If you use data generated by techniques such as XRF, XRD, EPMA, SEM-EDS, ICPMS, optical microscopy, µXRF, Infra-red scanning, etc., the Applied Mineralogy User Community welcomes your membership.
One of the reasons we think the industry can benefit from a user community is because mineralogy and petrography data are becoming more entrenched in application spaces such as mining, oil and gas, environmental, and geoscience research. The increased use of mineralogy data is causing an influx of new users, researchers, and students who are not necessarily aware of the pitfalls associated with the technologies used to generate these data or who require guidance on the interpretation and application of such data. The user community would establish a specialised network to bring together experienced and novice users alike. There is considerable expertise within analytical laboratories. The purpose of the AMUC is to establish a link between those laboratories and the larger community to harness our collective experience for the benefit of everyone.
The AMUC is an online community platform where we can come together to share valuable knowledge and experience, ask questions, and conduct discussions about methods, applications, and technology. A critical component of the AMUC is the Knowledge Base, which will be populated and maintained by the community to drive forum-based conversations. It’s an online repository for general resources that include material such as published articles, presentations, white papers, opinion pieces, and marketing material. Any member can create and upload content to the Knowledge Base, after which it would be up to the community to discuss and validate new content. The AMUC will also provide a central, independent plaform to allow standardisation of data validation, standards analysis and other quality control practices that can help provide greater confidence in mineralogical data produced.
The long term success of the AMUC relies on quality content in the Knowledge Base along with community membership and engagement. Hosting and maintaining the AMUC comes with some cost to MinAssist, therefore after completion of the beta we will ask a nominal membership fee. We plan to maintain low membership fees with the help of sponsorship from technology vendors and service providers. Your membership will give you direct access to the broader community of professionals who use mineralogy data to solve problems in their various application spaces. Additionally, depending on how the community develops, we are considering an AMUC meeting down the line. This could happen at one of the popular conferences or as a dedicated event, but let’s take things one step at a time.
Initially we will conduct a beta test of the online platform and would like to invite you to participate. If you are interested in getting involved in the beta test of the AMUC please express your interest here.