In this researcher conversation we will explore some of the barriers to improved knowledge and production of critical by-product elements from primary sources and what can be learnt from the current paradigm to facilitate more efficient primary resource extraction in the future.
Despite their importance to modern technological and energy infrastructure the primary stocks and flows of technology metals is poorly understood. These metals are commonly recovered as by-products of major metal refining processes and realise minimal value for primary producers. As such there is little incentive to investigate and document the occurrences of these critical resources.
This knowledge gap endangers our ability to guarantee long term sustainable supplies and results in critical resources being unknowingly exported from their point of extraction without fair remuneration. If we are to meet the predicted demand for critical metals in a fair and equitable way a paradigm shift is required in the way these critical metal resources are documented, processed, and extracted.
In the proposed circular economy, primary resource input will be minimised through efficient recycling and re-use. However, new resources will still be required to compensate for material dissipation, to facilitate growth, and to meet new demand for commodities. In this context extraction must be resource efficient, meeting the demand for multiple commodities from as few primary sources as possible and the lessons learnt in meeting critical mineral demand now will be invaluable in informing this new way of thinking.
Contact us directly for a link to this webinar: enquiries@Met4Tech.org
The Met4Tech Researcher Conversation sessions give the audience the chance of a two-way conversation with a different project researcher each month. This regular series aims to highlight Researcher progress and updates for the whole audience of Met4Tech project participants, from internal students and professors through to external enterprise partners.