Primary metals in the emerging circular economy

McCarney, G., Donin, G., Hossaini, S., Patel, S., Hossain, N. and Cairns, S. (2021) Primary metals in the emerging circular economy. Smart Prosperity Institute.

To date, most consideration of developing a circular economy for metals has focused on downstream actions such as waste reduction, recycling, and refining of manufacturing processes. This report argues more strategic thought must be given to the upstream procurement of the primary materials needed to meet the demands of a global renewable energy infrastructure.

Key recommendations include improving the understanding and data availability about on-site mining processes, developing a common language for circular economy and mining so the two can be more closely integrated, and increasing the focus on upstream metal extraction building a circular metals economy with new research and policy development.

The full report can be found here.