Critical metals: scarcity, security of supply and solutions

AUHTORS: Gus Gunn

ABSTRACT: Rapid increases in world population, the spread of prosperity across the globe and the demands of new technology have led to a revival of concerns about the availability of secure and adequate supplies of raw materials needed by society. Although physical exhaustion is unlikely, we need to know which ‘critical’ materials we should really be concerned about so that we can act now to develop strategies to mitigate the effects of supply disruption. There have been several recent attempts to identify critical metals, but it is not surprising that, with no consensus on the methodology and the criteria to be used, a variety of results have been produced. In fact, there can never be a single or correct list of critical metals that is universally applicable and that will not change over time. We need detailed analysis of the life-cycle of individual metals to identify specific problems and develop appropriate solutions. Geological research has a fundamental role to play in helping us to locate new deposits of the critical metals.

KEYWORDS: Critical metals, mineral scarcity, criticality assessment, security of supply

EAN: SGA_2013_A003
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