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Which markets are the future stars of the ‘critical metals’ industry?

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Commodities, Conferences, Exploration, Mineral Economics, Mineral Policy, Mining, Publications


Last year I presented a keynote at the Argus Media-Metal Pages China Metals Week in Guangzhou, entitled “Which markets are the future stars of the ‘critical metals’ industry?” The presentation looks at which of the critical metals, those defined as small important metal markets with supply constraints, have the potential to outgrow their current constraints and become large, industrial metals markets.

The paper looks at which metals are discoverable (abundant in the crust, with a propensity to concentrate into mineral deposits), extractable (ease of mining and processing), and useability (both important uses and a broad-range of uses). In the end barium, boron, cerium, chromium, cobalt, gallium, lanthanum, lithium, magnesium, scandium, silicon, strontium and vanadium were determined to have the most potential for substantial market growth.

A copy of the presentation is available on my slideshare:

Which markets are the future stars of the critical metals industry – Sykes et al – Nov 2015 – Greenfields Research / Centre for Exploration Targeting / Curtin University / The University of Western Australia from John P. Sykes

The presentation is based on two academic papers that will be published in the next issue of Applied Earth Science: Discovery, supply and demand: From Metals of Antiquity to critical metals and “An assessment of the potential for transformational market growth amongst the critical metals”.

The presentation and papers were co-authored with Josh Wright (Rowton Consolidated), Allan Trench (The University of Western Australia) and Paul Miller (Sulphide Resource Processing). Thank you for all their help.