*A University of Exeter academic has spoken about the many chemical elements we rely on that are at risk.*
*Professor Frances Wall, Head of the University’s Camborne School of Mines, joined a panel of experts at the British Science Festival to reveal the new chemical ‘risk list’.*
To coincide with the British Science Festival, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has released a new ‘risk list’, which ranks the risk to global supply of chemical elements of economic value. The list highlights vulnerable elements where global production is concentrated in a small number of countries, including metals that are critical to development of a low-carbon digital economy. The list helps to focus future research on diversifying supply from new resources, using greener production technologies and cost-effective recycling.
Professor Frances Wall, Head of Camborne School of Mines (CSM) explained how the University of Exeter is already engaged in tackling this challenge. She said: “There are a wide range of potential deposits around the world that could be mined, which would take away the monopoly of current suppliers of these metals. For example, new research in Malawi carried out by CSM is looking at resources of critical metals associated with rocks known as carbonatites (an igneous form of calcium carbonate).” (more…)