University of Exeter: University of Exeter expert plays crucial role in new UK Critical Minerals Strategy

Professor Frances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at the Camborne School of Mines, provided advice for the key report, called Resilience for the Future: The United Kingdom’s Critical Minerals Strategy, and published today (July 22nd 2022).

Professor Wall participated in an expert panel group to discuss critical mineral supply chains and submitted evidence on critical minerals circular economy research and mining education .

The strategy contains three main actions: to accelerate growth of the UK’s domestic capabilities; collaborate with international partners; and enhance international markets to make them more responsive, transparent and responsible.

The strategy also outlines Government plans to work with Camborne School of Mines to boost its position as a world-leading mining school and launch a degree apprenticeship in mining engineering in 2023.

Professor Wall, said, ‘I am delighted that the strategy has been published and welcome its contents – now we need to get going on the delivery.

“There is much that we can contribute, ranging from our university work on geology and sustainable development of critical minerals in Cornwall and Devon, to our UKRI Met4Tech Centre circular economy research, working with academic, industry and civil society colleagues worldwide on responsible production and stewardship of critical minerals.”

Critical minerals provide essential ingredients throughout the manufacturing industries, including all of the low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels that are needed to combat the climate emergency.

However, while elements like lithium, cobalt and rare earths are economically vital, supplies are limited to a few localities worldwide – making them vulnerable to supply disruption.

The new report highlights the need for the UK to improve the resilience of critical minerals supply chains and increase the security of supply.

In his introduction, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng noted, ‘The UK’s mining and minerals history runs deep, dating back to the Bronze Age. In most mines today, it is said you can usually find someone who has trained at the world-renowned Camborne School of Mines – such is the UK’s historical strength.’