The Kaatiala mine was chosen for the first environmental trial of the UX-1a robot and UNEXMIN technology due to its open lake with mine structures and shallow water, which provided an optimal testing environment. The consortium took advantage of this simple setting to assess robotic functions and components, making modifications and software/hardware improvements that could later be applied to the Idrija mine trials.
Kaatiala, in western Finland, is an open-pit pegmatite mine with an extensive underground section, where quartz was mined as early as the 19th century and then mainly potassium-feldspar between 1942-1968. Pegmatite is a coarse crystalline igneous rock, most often crystallised from residual magma rich in volatile elements during the last stage of crystallisation. Kaatiala is one such pegmatite, known as a zoned complex pegmatite, which crystallised from magma of granitic composition around 1800 million years ago. The main rock types found in the area are sedimentary gneisses and mica schists, intruded by the pegmatite. The minerals found here consist of feldspar, quartz, tourmaline, mica, beryl, and lepidolite among others.
See the following video about the mission!