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From empire to emerging markets: the past, present and future of mineral intelligence at the BGS. Andrew Bloodworth BGS Science Director for Minerals and Waste. Past, present and future of mineral intelligence at the BGS. Empire, global conflict and confrontation

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from empire to emerging markets the past present and future of mineral intelligence at the bgs

From empire to emerging markets: the past, present and future of mineral intelligence at the BGS

Andrew Bloodworth

BGS Science Director for Minerals and Waste

past present and future of mineral intelligence at the bgs
Past, present and future of mineral intelligence at the BGS
  • Empire, global conflict and confrontation
  • Adjusting to a new World order
  • Minerals intelligence in a resource-constrained World
origins
Origins
  • Imperial War Conference 1917 called for ‘… an Imperial Body which should be charged with the duties of collecting information… …regarding the Mineral Resources and Metal Requirements of the Empire’
  • Imperial Mineral Resources Bureau formed in 1919
  • ‘The Mineral Industry of the British Empire and Foreign Countries, Statistical Summary (Production, Imports and Exports’ 1913-1920
  • First comprehensive and systematic dataset from outside UK
  • 1913 start date provided a pre-war comparison with statistics from conflict years

Sir Richard Redmayne

empire
Empire
  • Imperial Mineral Resources Bureau became the Mineral Resources Department of the Imperial Institute in 1925
  • Attempts to develop inter-Imperial trade in mineral raw materials
  • Supply security concerns (bromine, helium, ferrochrome, talc, graphite, molybdenite)
world war
World War
  • From 1940, many MRD staff on ‘special duty’ with the Ministry of Economic Warfare
cold war
Cold War
  • Cold War created major concerns in the West regarding security of supply of ferro-alloy elements (Mn, Co and Cr) and PGMs
  • Existing production heavily concentrated in Soviet Union or its client states, or in the RSA
  • National security concerns drove stockpiling policy in USA and research by IGS/ BGS ‘Mineral Intelligence Unit’ related to criticality assessment’

Most critical

Supply risk

Economic importance

globalisation
Globalisation
  • In post-Cold War global free-market, both primary and manufactured goods flowed from producers with lower marginal costs
  • Minerals benefitted from economies of scale, bulk logistics, ?lower environmental costs

Skorpion Zn mine, Namibia

a new world order
A new World order?
  • Booming World economy and double digit growth rates in the BRICs between 2000-2008 drive a sustained minerals ‘supercycle’
  • Production of some metals becomes highly concentrated
  • As a result, old concerns about mineral resource security start to re-emerge in the West

Sao Paulo, Brazil

new technologies new materials
New technologies, new materials

Industrial metals

Precious metals

EU critical metals

Additional metals/ metalloids in mobile devices

better together european collaboration
Better together?European collaboration

Current feasibility projects

  • Minventory
  • Minerals4EU
  • Pan-European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI)

Issues

  • Data availability – primary and secondary
  • Data collection processes – especially resources and reserves
  • Data harmonisation between Member States
  • Long-term management and funding – what will constitute a ‘permanent body’?
  • National interests (economic and security)
paradox of plenty resources poverty and conflict
Paradox of plenty – resources, poverty and conflict
  • Poor countries with an abundance of minerals usually have worse development outcomes than those less well endowed
  • Links between minerals exploitation, corruption and conflict
  • Developmental, ethical and security concerns drive responses including EITI, Kimberley, Dodd-Frank, Fair Trade Au etc.
  • Reliable and impartial statistical data and analysis is vital in ensuring an effective International response and better development outcomes

Source: BGS World Mineral Statistics

total resource a holistic approach to metal supply
Total resource: A holistic approach to metal supply
  • Increased worries about supply concentration/ disruption, price volatility, long term availability
  • Step changes in technology (low carbon/ digital economy, dematerialisation) are challenge to demand prediction
  • How resilient are critical/ technology metal supply chains to demand and supply ‘shocks’?
  • Mapping material flows reveals high levels of production concentration, major material losses, low levels of recycling, poor data
  • Reveals risks and helps identify most effective intervention points
  • Introduce dynamic element which simulates impact of changes in demand and/or supply
mineral intelligence in a resource constrained world
Mineral intelligence in a resource-constrained World

The next 100 years, BGS mineral intelligence will:

  • Continue to be driven by supply security concerns
  • Strive (with others) for better metrics on both primary and secondary resources
  • Measure and understand how and where materials flow and how these change over time
  • Provide analysis and advice to inform policy and the wider community on permitting, environment, trade and research
  • Deliver a reality check on relative importance of primary and secondary resources
  • Improve understanding of the resource consequences of conspicuous consumption
www mineralsuk com
www.mineralsUK.com

With thanks to Jen Rodley,Teresa Brown and the BGS Ore Deposits and Commodities Team