How do we source the metals we need from the planet we love?

As we transition towards a clean energy economy, demand for certain critical metals is set to rise dramatically. This presents profound challenges and difficult choices.

The deployment of solar, wind and energy storage technologies will supercharge demand for metals such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper.

Meanwhile, the urban population is forecast to grow by as much as 2.5 billion by 2050, putting significant additional stress on metal resources.

There is no consensus on the best way to meet this anticipated increase in demand, though there is universal agreement that the extraction and processing of metals comes at a cost to the environment and to society.

A more circular economy for metals may be achievable, but not for many decades as we build recycling stock in the system.

It is a complex subject that can often be overwhelming. Yet we must grasp the nettle if we are to be responsible custodians of our planet. This is not just a challenge for policymakers but one that concerns all of humanity.

The objective of Mineral Choices is not to propose a particular course of action. Rather, it is an educational resource designed to reflect the diversity of opinion and the spectrum of evidence surrounding the issues at hand. We do not have any hidden agenda and are a collaborative of university professionals to promote more informed conversations between citizenry, industry and government.

Mineral Choices has a mandate to examine assertions that are made in the light of the available evidence, to acknowledge gaps in our understanding and to explore the role for future research.

Please explore the site, share its content and engage with this important debate.

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