SoS RARE at Sustainable Minerals '16

Sustainable Minerals '16 conference, © Robert Pell

The Sustainable Minerals '16 conference took place at St Michael's hotel in Falmouth from June 23rd to the 24th. A broad range of topics came together with the aim to advance knowledge and connect the gaps in sustainable mineral production, recovery, and recycling. The conference started with a great introduction to the geology and history of Cornwall, and how it has made it the unique place it is today. Former Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Robin Batterham then gave an eye-opening talk, discussing the challenges that we as a community have producing materials for the coming generations. This was followed by a number of excellent talks covering areas from hyperspectral mineralogy to waste and tailings management.

SoS RARE was represented by Robert Pell, from Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter) who presented results from a recent study comparing the environmental performance of two carbonatite-related deposits using a life cycle assessment.

Other presentations covered bio-assisted processes for leaching and methods of metal removal from waterways. The broad range of subject areas catalysed lively discussions during the breaks. A particularly debated theme was our current limitations to creating the idealised 'circular economy'. A number of high-quality, informative posters were also on display reflecting the range of conference attendees.

The conference concluded with a talk from Professor Markus Reuter from the Helmholtz Institute for Resource Technology. He made a call to all young researchers to be part of the solution to resource sustainability and highlighted the importance of cross-discipline communication.

Robert Pell 28 June 2016


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