The 3rd International Critical Metals Conference, organized by the Mineralogical Society’s Applied Mineralogy Group, was held at the Surgeons Hall venue, Edinburgh from 30th of April to the 2nd of May 2019.
Seventy scientists gathered in the late spring sunshine in Edinburgh to discuss Critical Metals. The organizers took an interesting approach to building the programme with speakers on three main themes:
- Critical metals for low carbon transport
- Responsible sourcing of critical metals
- Geology and resources of critical metals
The third of these was perhaps the most familiar ground for mineral scientists, but the work presented in themes 1 and 2 was fascinating and the meeting gave an excellent opportunity for the broader community to meet, including representatives from NGOs etc., materials science, Geo-ethics, as well as the more usual (as far as MinSoc is concerned) mineralogy and exploration folks.
This unique blend of disciplines allowed the conference to take a holistic approach to some of the biggest questions facing critical metals: the role they will play in the decarbonisation of the future, where those resources will come from and how can they be exploited in a sustainable manner. Talking points on the nature of criticality and how it is a very subjective topic were evident as delegates from more than 15 countries were present. Our keynote speakers, David Merriman, Jacqui Murray, James McQuilken, Kathryn Goodenough, Paul Nex and our Early Career Researcher keynote Anouk Borst, provided excellent overviews and talking points on some of the current issues. The opportunity to speak to representatives from different parts of the critical metals supply chain was invaluable and based on the buzz at breaks and the conference dinner, networking abounded!
Highlights from the conference included significant discussion on battery raw materials and where those metals were going to be sourced. Discussion across geological surveys, governmental representatives were fruitful for all involved and great links were made between organisations which would not typically be present in the same room. Particular comments from delegates included the appreciation of the sustainable development talks in the middle of the conference where the message from people on the ground was conveyed to both end users and geologists.
Also below is a copy of the programme with links to those presentations where permission has been received from the authors to publish here.
A special issue of Mineralogical Magazine will appear in 2020 arising out of papers presented during the meeting and by authors who could not attend but who work in this area. Go to https://www.editorialmanager.com/minmag/default.aspx to submit your paper to the Critical Metals 2019 special issue.
Critical metals for low carbon transport: Session chairs: Evi Petavratzi and Gus Gunn
Butcher: The evaluation and development of lithium brine prospects: examples from the Altiplano Puna, South America
Lundhaug: How much do we know about material cycles? An application of the MinFuture framework
Horn: Europe’s cobalt resource potential for supply to lowcarbon vehicles
Pell: Integrating life cycle assessment into the planning stages of critical metal projects
Jacqui Murray (keynote): Electric vehicle batteries: the UK government perspective
Schmid: Why the European automotive industry struggles to secure its need for critical raw materials
Lottermoser: Recovery of critical metals through waste valorisation: Cerro Colorado copper deposit, Rio Tinto, Spain
Jha: Analysis of Sustainable Manufacturing Approaches for Cobalt and Lithium Titanates as battery materials
Responsible sourcing of critical metals. Session chairs: Megan Barnett and Rob Pell
Moore: Conflict and critical raw materials production: a tale of antimony production in the Balkans
Paneri: Renewable Energy Systems for Sustainable Mining
Doyle: Environmental & Social Maturity as a new concept for self-assessment of best practice in a mining context
Caven: Building an ecosystem for change in the responsible sourcing of critical metals – The Impact Facility for Sustainable Mining Communities
Patton: Issues in securing access to critical minerals; experience from Northern Ireland
Lusty: Deep-sea mining: A responsible source of critical metals or a step beyond the environmental limits of our planet?
Geology and resources of critical metals I. Session chairs: David Kaeter and Cristina Villanova-De-Benavent
Grant: Are some Critical Metals a potential secondary resource in modern seafloor massive sulphide deposits?
Lehrmann: Trace element systematics of sulphides and associated alteration phases from inactive hydrothermal vents at TAG, Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Josso: The critical metal potential of ferromanganese crusts: New insight from the north-east Atlantic
Elliott: Fenite exploration criteria surrounding carbonatite-hosted critical metal deposits
Jenkin: Critical and precious element recovery with environmentally benign deep eutectic solvents
Horsburgh: Smart Sorting of minerals
Geology and resources of critical metals II. Session chairs: Sam Broom-Fendley and Hannah Grant
Nwoko: Elemental Se and Te nanoparticles biosynthesised by Aerobasidium pullulans: Characterization, separation and detection with DLS, AF4-UV-MALS-ICP-MS/MS, spICP-MS and TEM
Lima: A new vision for the genesis of Santa Helena breccia, Borralha W deposit NW of Portugal
Geology and resources of critical metals III. Session chairs: Charlie Beard and Nicky Horsburgh
Finch: Critical Metal Mineralisation Associated with Magmatic Roof Zones
Broom-Fendley: Sulphate-bearing monazite-(Ce) from silicified dolomite carbonatite, Eureka, Namibia: substitution mechanisms, redox state and HREE enrichment
Kynicky: The role of carbonate-fluoride melt immiscibility in shallow REE deposits evolution: New evidence from Mongolia
Villanova-De-Benavent: Adsorption experiments of REE onto kaolinite in low pH water and NaCl solutions
Anouk Borst (ECR keynote): Peralkaline-hosted Critical Metal Deposits: From magmatic enrichment to hydrothermal mobilisation
Alfonso: Mineral chemistry of In-rich minerals from the San José ore deposit, Central Andean Tin Belt, Bolivia
Beard: Geomodels for REE and HFSE exploration in carbonatite and alkaline-silicate magmatic systems
Deady: Volcanic-Derived Placers as a Potential Resource of Rare Earth Elements: The Aksu Diamas Case Study, Turkey
Lacinska: The effect of X-ray energy overlaps on the results of chevkinite (Ce, La, Ca, Th)4(Fe2+, Mg)2(Ti, Fe3+)3Si4O22 microanalysis using SEM EDS-WDS
Li: Genesis of the Zudong regolith-hosted HREE deposit in South China
Liang: Formation of selenium- and tellurium-containing nanoparticles during the growth of filamentous fungi
Price: Crystallisation Pathways of Mixed La and Nd Carbonates
Zhou: Rare earth element deposits in China
Eimear Deady organized the meeting with support from, Jindrich Kynicky, Aoife Brady, Alicja Lacinska, Kevin Murphy and Russell Rajendra.
Finally, thanks to those who supported the meeting financially: