Panel 3: Technology and innovation – how will new extraction and processing technologies unlock future critical mineral deposits
Day 2, Session 8
Critical minerals' technology and innovation needs are closely tied to their growing role in modern industries. One of the primary requirements is the development of a secure and diversified supply chain for critical minerals. Many nations have recognised the strategic importance of these minerals and that efforts are needed to reduce the dependency on a limited number of suppliers. Technological advancements can help identify and unlock new sources, improve transportation logistics, and enhance the reliability of supply chains, ensuring a stable and accessible source of these crucial resources.
Another critical need is the development of sustainable and environmentally responsible mining and processing technologies. While some mining practices are applicable across various mineral types, tailoring methods to minimise environmental impacts and reduce energy consumption specifically for critical minerals is especially essential. Innovation in resource exploration techniques can help locate and optimise deposits with higher precision, reducing the footprint of mining operations. Additionally, research into cleaner extraction and processing technologies can minimise the environmental footprint and improve the overall sustainability of critical minerals production. Thus, technology and innovation are vital to addressing the growing demand for critical minerals while mitigating the environmental and geopolitical challenges associated with their extraction and utilisation.
As we navigate the complex and somewhat new landscape of critical minerals, we must harness the power of technology and innovation to secure a sustainable and diverse supply chain, minimise environmental impacts, and enhance the resilience of our critical minerals infrastructure. This panel discussion will examine this important aspect of critical minerals and collaboration across sectors to drive the solutions that will shape the future of critical minerals and their pivotal role in our technological advancement. It will also pose the question “Are we too optimistic that technology help will come and meet the new and growing needs of the critical minerals supply chain.”