Dr Kathryn Goodenough (British Geological Survey) will talk on "Critical Raw Materials for the Energy Transition".
The global objective of
achieving net zero emissions is driving significant decarbonisation of energy
and transport, with a shift towards renewable energy sources and electric
vehicles. It is now widely recognised that this will drive significant
increases in demand for a range of minerals and metals, including lithium,
graphite, manganese, nickel and cobalt (used in batteries), the rare earth
elements (used in magnets in motors) and the platinum group elements (for
electrolysis to produce green hydrogen). There are concerns about the security
of supply of some of these raw materials, and the increasing demand cannot be
met solely by recycling; mining of primary resources will be essential. This
talk will describe the types of geological resources that are mined, focusing
on our recent research into deposits of the rare earth elements and lithium. It
is important to note that geology isn’t everything, and a range of other
challenges can also impact the raw materials value chain; these may relate to
mineral processing, social and environmental impacts, economics and politics.
This talk will also give an overview of some of our recent and ongoing research
on sustainable exploration, mining, and value chains for these raw materials that
are critical for the energy transition.