Sophia Kalantzakos

Prof. Kalantzakos is Global Distinguished Professor in Environmental Studies and Public Policy at New York University Abu Dhabi. Her research centers on the geopolitics of critical minerals, the transition to a net zero future, and the fourth industrial revolution. Her work, in particular, examines how resource competition in an era of fraught geopolitics has tilted the balance toward more securitized assessments of global interdependence. Moreover, she examines China’s global aspirations manifested in the belt and road initiative, Europe’s reckoning with a seismic push against both its normative and economic power, and the US’s re-evaluation of its leadership role in the global order. Her most recent publications include China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths (Oxford University Press, 2018; rev.2021) and The EU, US, and China Tackling Climate Change: Policies and Alliances for the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2017).

The decarbonization of the global economy in response to the climate crisis and the fourth industrial revolution currently underway have been subsumed by geopolitics that remain anchored in realist power struggles, now revolving around Sino-American hyper-competition. The Russian invasion of Ukraine further undermined interdependence and prompted unprecedented levels of economic statecraft. Geopolitical realignments have turned into a battle for the leadership of the tech-imperium while access to indispensable minerals for a net zero future has become more securitized. Professor Kalantzakos will provide insight into this latest manifestation of resource competition. She will analyze how the European Union pushes back against bipolar geopolitics by utilizing its normative, economic, and regulatory power and strong networks of global institutional relations to maintain a competitive but working relationship with China. She will conclude by pointing to ways by which Europe may help broker broader global institutional collaboration to ensure that decarbonization is for all, not just for the few.

Simon P. Michaux

Associate Professor of geometallurgy at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) in KTR, the Circular Economy Solutions Unit.  Basic degree Bach App. Sc in Physics and Geology, PhD in Mining Engineering from JKMRC University of Queensland.  Work experience 18 years in the Australian mining industry in research and development, 12 months at Ausenco in the private sector, 3 years in Belgium at the University of Liege researching Circular Economy and industrial recycling. Work experience in Finland at GTK has been in the Mineral Intelligence unit, before joining the KTR. Mineral processing and geometallurgy being developed.

Long term objectives include the development and transformation of the Circular Economy, into a more practical system for the industrial ecosystem to navigate the twin challenges of the scarcity of technology minerals and the transitioning away from fossil fuels.

A study was conducted to examine what is going to be required to fully phase out fossil fuels as an energy source and replace the entire existing system with renewable energy sources and transportation. This is done by estimating what it would be required to replace the entire fossil fuel system in 2018, for the US, Europe, China, and global economies. This report examines the size and scope of the existing transport fleet, and scope of fossil fuel industrial actions.

To replace fossil fueled ICE vehicles, Electric Vehicles, H2 cell vehicles for cars, trucks, rail, and maritime shipping was examined. Fossil fuels consumption for electricity generation, building heating and production of steel were all examined for replacement. Calculations reported here suggest that the total additional non-fossil fuel electrical power annual capacity to be added to the global grid will need to be around 36 007.9 TWh. To phase out fossil fuel power generation, solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and nuclear were all examined. If the same non-fossil fuel energy mix as that reported in 2018 is assumed, then this translates into an extra 586 032 new power plants will be needed to be constructed and commissioned.

The quantity of metals to manufacture the first generation of renewable technology units (wind turbines, solar panels, EV’s etc.) to completely phase out fossil fuels. This metal quantities were compared to mining production and mineral reserves.

Conclusions were drawn after comparing all these different aspects. It was proposed that the phasing out of fossil fuels will not go to plan.

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Michaux, S. P. (2021): Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels, GTK Open Work File internal report, Serial number 42/2021, ISBN 978-952-217-414-7, https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/42_2021.pdf

Michaux, S. P. (2021): The Mining of Minerals and the Limits to Growth, GTK internal report, Report serial 16/2021, ISBN 978-952-217-413-0, https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/16_2021.pdf

Tuomela, P., Törmänen, T. and Michaux, S. (2021): Strategic roadmap for the development of Finnish battery mineral resources, Geological Survey of Finland, Open File Research Report 31/2021, https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/31_2021.pdf

Michaux, S. P. (2021): Restructuring the Circular Economy into the Resource Balanced Economy, GTK internal report, Report serial     3/2021, ISBN 978-952-217-412-3, https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/3_2021.pdf

Michaux, S. P. (2019): Oil from a Critical Raw Material Perspective, Geological Survey of Finland/Geologian tutkimuskeskus, GTK Open File Work Report, ISBN 978-952-217-404-8 (pdf), http://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/70_2019.pdf

Kerry Turnock

Kerry Turnock has 29 years of resource sector experience spanning geoscientific, operational, technical marketing and technology disciplines. This multidisciplinary experience underpins Kerry’s ability to understand the value of geoscientific inputs for organisational decisions across the value chain, ranging from grass roots exploration through mining and processing and to the end customer. She has a proven track record of successfully delivering break-through projects with functioning solutions that have resulted in realised benefits from resource identification through to improved mining practices. Kerry holds a Masters in geology from Monash University and is the Global Practice Lead Resource Knowledge with BHP’s Resource Centre of Excellence.

Traditionally the role of geoscience within the mining value chain has been to sustain the resource base. This has been achieved through the identification and delineation of new resources to establish an operation or replace the tonnes and grade exploited by existing mining activities. However, geoscience has the capability to deliver more. Geoscience is one of the few disciplines that underpins and informs decisions across the entire value chain from grass roots exploration, through mining operations, to market and finally into closure.

The resource sector faces several challenges in a changing world. These challenges include:

  1. deeper, more complex and often lower quality orebodies
  2. changing demands for commodity types
  3. increased expectation on volumes delivered and speed to market and
  4. increasing environmental, societal and legislative pressures.

 

To meet these challenges the resource sector must embrace transformative characterisation of insitu and disturbed rock mass at all stages of a deposit’s life cycle. Increasing resource volumes and speed to market requires earlier and greater understanding of total rock mass characterisation. The application of uncertainty quantification and probabilistic approaches to deliver risk-based geoscience models will support more informed design and planning decisions across the value chain. At the same time, we must leverage sensing and sensor technology to accelerate the speed and increased volumes of data acquisition and interpretation required. And finally, a sustainable future requires investment in the uplift of waste material characterisation that is generated during mining and processing.

The value of transformative total rock mass characterisation extends beyond resource estimates and mine plans. It will unlock design and plan options, improve our understanding of risk and enable rapid, confident and superior decision making across the entire value chain from exploration to closure.

Simon Jowitt

Simon Jowitt is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Economic Geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He has a BSc (Hons) degree in Geology from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines, and a PhD from the University of Leicester, all in the UK. Simon also spent eight years at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, initially as a three-year postdoctoral research fellow working with Anglo American before moving to his current position at UNLV. His research focuses on the use of geochemistry to unravel geological processes in a variety of settings with direct application to understanding not only mineralizing systems but also igneous petrology, mineral exploration, global tectonics and the links between magmatism and metallogeny. He has also undertaken extensive research on mineral economics, global metal resources and the security of supply of the critical elements, and the “economic” side of economic geology, as demonstrated by a number of recent publications on global base, precious, and critical metal and mineral resources and the impact of COVID-19 on the global minerals industry. Simon also studies the environmental impact of mining and the potential uses of mining and other wastes for metal production and CO2 sequestration. He has published more than 95 scientific papers and peer-reviewed book chapters since 2010, is currently the Vice-President for Student Affairs for the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and was awarded the SEG’s Waldemar Lindgren Award in 2014.

Globally we extract more metals and minerals than at any other point in human history, reflecting the mineral and metal basis of modern society. However, the minerals industry also faces more challenges that at any other time in the past, not just in terms of discovery and extraction of metals and minerals but also as a result of increasing environmental, social and governmental challenges that delay project development and can result in the cancellation of exploration licences and the removal of permission to operate. These challenges coincide with increased awareness of the importance of climate change mitigation, leading to government policy and investment and consumer demand for a move towards carbon-neutral economies and a rapid need for low- and zero-CO2 energy generation, storage and transport. The metal and mineral requirements for this energy transition are often ignored by policymakers but will require significant increases in production of key minerals and metals beyond current record levels of production, even if we can also increase recycling rates. The clash of often anti-minerals industry sentiment with the increased demand for metals and minerals that will drive the minerals industry for decades to come indicates we rapidly need to reconsider what is ore. We must move away from ore as being a purely economic concept to one that embraces all of the challenges and opportunities outlined above and more. This requires a rethink of the concepts of mineral and metal extraction to move towards more sustainable and comprehensive use of finite mineral resources, to develop approaches to generate wealth from minerals industry waste, and to improve our understanding of mineral deposits to both aid discovery and to allow enhanced main, co- and by-product recovery.