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Materials Processing Institute Researcher contributes to UK-Canada Critical Materials Workshop

Materials Processing Institute Researcher contributes to UK-Canada Critical Materials Workshop

Materials Processing Institute Researcher contributes to UK-Canada Critical Materials Workshop

Lucy Smith, a Principal Researcher in the Circular Economy Group at the Materials Processing Institute, joined the UK-Canada Bilateral Regulatory Workshop looking at building a robust global framework to support a circular economy for critical materials. This workshop was organised by the Science and Innovation Network (SIN), part of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Critical Minerals Association.

The workshop looked at the needs, current practices and capabilities related to a secondary market for critical materials through the recovery and recycling of critical materials from end-of-life technologies. Industry from both nations considered what they want to see going forward and the challenges that they face.

The actions UK and Canada Governments are undertaking were reviewed with focus on cooperation and working together on what a secondary market for critical minerals looks like currently on a global stage and what ideally it would look like with greater multilateral collaboration. What international frameworks exist, the gaps and opportunities of the different regulatory frameworks and approaches across the UK and Canada that currently enable and support the reuse, repurposing, and recycling of end-of-life technologies to support a circular economy for critical materials were considered, along with what an alliance of likeminded governments can do to support and enable the creation of a secondary market through a cohesive global regulatory framework and international standards.

Lucy joined the “Secondary Sources” Panel Discussion to provide a high-level overview of critical mineral extraction from secondary sources including steelmaking waste and mine tailings. The session moderator was Bob Lee, University of Birmingham, and other panellists were Bryan Tisch, NR Canada and Didier Arseguel, Rio Tinto.

Critical Minerals Association (CMA)

The Critical Minerals Association (CMA) provides a unique platform for companies and individuals to come together and share key insights with the UK Government.

The CMAs goals are to:

Increase the self-sufficiency of supply chains for our industrial strategy, provide peer-to-peer support on best practice and set recognised standards for critical mineral companies, improve societal/ government perception of the critical minerals sector - including the sector’s importance for our industrial strategy and its ability to maintain high ethical standards, and provide a direct line of communication between industry and government and create a unified influence of industry.

Science and Innovation Network (SIN)

SIN is part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has approximately 90 officers in over 40 countries and territories around the world building partnerships and collaborations on science and innovation.

SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community to lead on building and developing bilateral partnerships, leading to mutual benefits to the UK and the host country.

The UK is a global leader in science and innovation and SIN recognises that international collaboration is essential to maintaining the excellence of the UK’s research base and the competitive advantage of UK innovative businesses. SIN develops country-specific action plans helping to maintain the UK’s scientific excellence and reputation and through supporting innovation helps ensure that the UK is a partner of choice for countries around the world seeking scientific expertise.

10 December 2021