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Regulatory challenges in creating circular economy for techmetals

Digger working in mine

About this event

This roundtable is part of the Met4Tech project, and focuses on legal and policy aspects of a circular economy in techmetals.

The UKRI-funded Met4Tech project aims to explore how to create a circular economy for technology metals, such as lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, and others essential in decarbonisation and digital technologies. The project will establish a interdisciplinary research centre in order to conduct new interdisciplinary research on key interventions to improve each stage in the cycle and join the different stages of the value chain together such that raw materials can be newly mined and recycled, and manufacturing technology can be linked directly to re-use and recycling. One of the important challenges in that circular economy relates to legal, regulatory and policy issues regarding Techmetals and the green economy. This roundtable brings together scholars and practitioners to explore the regulatory challenges in creating a circular economy for techmetals.


2:00-2:05 Professor Robert Lee, University of Birmingham – Opening of the conference

2:05-2:15 – Professor Frances Wall, University of Exeter – Introduction to the Met4Tech project

First panel International perspectives

2:15-2:30 Dr Ana Bastida, University of Dundee – A global perspective on law and governance of mining and minerals

2:30-2:45 Taylor Curtis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – A Circular Economy for Lithium-Ion Batteries Used in Mobile and Stationary Energy Storage: Drivers, Barriers, Enablers, and Policy Considerations

2:45-3:00 Professor Heather Van Meter, Willamette University – WTO Mechanisms for Ensuring Global Supply and Sustainable Management of Technology Metals

3:00- 3:10 Discussion

Second panel UK perspectives

3:10-3:25 Andrew Bloodworth, British Geological Survey – An overview of supply and demand for UK critical materials

3:25:3:35 Sally Norcross-Webb, Stephens Scown – Regulatory challenges for mining operations in the UK

3:35-3:45 Professor Robert Lee and Dr Jyoti Ahuja – Lessons learned from Faraday project: regulatory and policy strategies for the recycling of EV batteries

3:45- 4:00 Discussion and closing remarks