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Larry Zanko

Larry Zanko, Sr. Research Fellow

Position and Focus

Larry Zanko is a Senior Research Fellow for the Economic Geology Program within the Minerals Division of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development. He is a geological mining engineer and has been with NRRI since 1988. He has worked on a variety of research projects related to industrial, ferrous and nonferrous minerals. Areas of particular focus have included aggregates, biogeochemistry, geological data compilation, geostatistics, geological resource/mine modeling, environmental remediation, kaolin and ball clay evaluations, mining economics/tax comparisons and mineral waste characterization/utilization projects.


M.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1995
B.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1986
B.S. Microbiology, University of Minnesota St. Paul, 1986

Project list for Lawrence Zanko :

(A link will go to the project's current report, an arrow will take you to a project's home page)

Utility of Taconite Materials as Road Patch for Highway Construction
To confirm the utility of using inorganically bound taconite aggregate and concentrate as highway road patching and construction materials.

Sediment for Biomass, Minnesota Mining Cluster - The Next Generation of Innovation
To conduct field trials of varieties of cellulosic feedstock on mineland tailings basins and other marginal lands using readily available soil amendment materials: clean sediments dredged from Duluth-Superior Harbor amended with treated municipal wastewater/biosolids. Objective is to conduct field-scale (>3 acres) research at one or more host taconite mines (or other brownfields/marginal lands location). Ultimate products will be: 1) identification of the most appropriate cellulosic feedstock species; 2) an assessment and proof-of-concept demonstration of overall waste and energy management planning and recycling in the region so long as sediment disposal challenges and mine land reclamation needs remain; and 3) energy development opportunity. Project findings would be applicable to other areas around MN and the Great Lakes region, including tailings basins, gravel pits, brownfields, and other marginal lands.

By-Product Aggregate, Minnesota Mining Cluster - The Next Generation of Innovation
To focus on implementation projects that introduce aggregate materials to targeted markets in project-sized quantities, value-added commercialization opportunities, and promising avenues of taconite-based applied research. Program includes: Accelerated aggregate material qualification/certification program; Development & deployment of mix and pavement designs using high quality taconite aggregate materials in their upper wear courses; Production of value-added products from coarse taconite tailings, such as high friction bridge deck and airport runway surfacing aggregates; Further development and implementation of innovative concepts, products and technologies such as: pothole/paving compounds and pursuing microwave-based technologies for all-season pothole and pavement repair; energy-absorbing materials for possible defense applications; UV, solar, and geothermal heating and energy storage. This project area is highly dependent on private sector and public sector interactions, negotiations, and timetables. Collaboration with private and public sectors at local, state, and national levels will be a key for implementing these activities and leveraging project resources.