This world cann’t continue without urban mining. A company like Umicore is specialised in recycling these metals, so they can be re-used again, according to dr. Christian Hagelüken, director of EU Government Affairs.
Sustainable products are boosting demand for technology metals. Solar cells need germanium, gallium, selenium, indium and silver. Electric vehicle sneed lithium, cobalt, nickel, rarte earth and copper. Fuel cells need platinum, iridium and cobalt. And Led sneed gallium, indium, germanium and silver. ‘Urban miners’ like Umicore are specialised in recycling these metals, so they can be re-used again.
There are more reasons for producers to rethink their designs, so recycling becomes more efficient.
According tot dr. Hagelüken there is no foreseeable absolute scarcity of metals, but:
+ Declining grades & increasing complexity of ores
+ Need to mine from greater depths and/or in ecological sensitive areas (artic regions, oceans, rain forest etc.)
+ Footprint of primary metals production can be high
+ Energy needs & related climate impact
+ Other burden on environment (land, water, biodiversity)
Other supply risks (political, trade restrictions, economical/ speculation; regional or company oligopolies, ...) and demand surges already today lead to market imbalances & temporary scarcities.
So, a critical metals identification for the EU is needed.
Download of the PDF of the Presentation of Christian Hagelüken