This paper considers 88 long-term outlook studies for a range of critical metals. The authors find that little attention has been given to the social and environmental consequences that would likely accompany a growth in demand, with most studies focusing on predicting long term demand in isolation. Further, there is a lack of consideration of important geopolitical considerations, such as how the social and environmental impact of resource trade affects different countries. The authors also point to the little attention given to reuse, remanufacturing and lifetime extension relative to other circular economy strategies, specifically recycling and resource reduction. The link between host and by-product metals is also under-examined, say the authors.
Review of critical metal dynamics to 2050 for 48 elements
Critical metals are technologically vital to the functionality of various emerging technologies, yet they have a potentially unstable supply. This condition calls for strategic planning based on the expected long-term demand and supply of these metals and the implications attached.