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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) and the rare earth elements (used in magnets in motors). 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. All of these raw materials can be derived from a range of geological sources, and many deposits are already known, but continued exploration is important. However, 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 provide an overview of some of our recent and ongoing research on sustainable exploration, mining, and value chains for critical raw materials for the energy transition.


Kathryn Goodenough
British Geological Survey, United Kingdom
GeoKarlsruhe 2021