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The Relevance of Mining in a Climate Change World

June 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The MinSouth Prestige Lecture will be presented by Neil Kermode, Managing Director of The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Limited, based in Orkney.



Join Teams Meeting  From 5.30 pm

This year’s Prestige lecture explores the relevance of mining in a climate change and zero carbon world. Are new mines necessary? Could we not be re-using/recycling metals already mined, processed and discarded or still in circulation? How important is mining for new and developing clean technologies – electric cars, renewable energy, energy storage etc.

Winning high energy materials from the earth was an excellent strategy for kickstarting the first Industrial Revolution. It allowed industry to site production where it needed to be and not just where the resources were, it compacted processes and people into factories and enabled unheard of levels of production.

 But unfortunately we didn’t spot the downside of releasing these bound up materials… until recently.

 So now we know we need to act on carbon emissions, the spotlight of attention has begun to swing onto less extractive approaches to making our lives work. This generally means moving from a linear process to more circular ones. It means using less and it means using that we have better, and sometimes it means looking at the processes that made life possible before coal.

One part of that is the way in which we power and propel our economy. We all know we are decarbonising, we see more EVs on the road and in the adverts on the (lower energy) TV; We have stopped burning coal for electricity and the UK had its first coal free month in May; we see more wind turbines and solar panels and we are participating in conversations about carbon daily.

 And there are things going on in the background, often unseen. The carbon free world is under construction and new technologies are being developed.

 Neil Kermode manages the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney which has been tasked by Government to enable the development of the technology to harvest energy from the waves and tides around our coast. Set up in 2003 it has seen more devices (30) tested than at any other site in the world and has helped spur the decarbonisation of energy in Orkney.

 Neil brings a wealth of experience of the successes and challenges that have been faced by the pioneers and innovators to date and is passionate about the need to deliver a new industry.

 The lecture will explore some of the options that marine energy opens up; not just to the UK but the rest of the planet. Opportunities for new jobs, businesses and ways to handle and utilise the energy harvested.

 Neil will also highlight the metals and minerals that may be increasingly important to the development and construction of these and other non-carbon energy sources (ie materials needed); and perhaps more importantly, the battery and/or other energy storage provisions for the energy produced.

Examples of the conundrum include that steel is needed for wind turbines – and steel needs mining iron ore and metallurgical process coal for the steel manufacturing; similarly metals needed for the marine energy technologies; and the rare earths and other metals/minerals needed for EVs, renewables and storage etc.


Join Teams Meeting

From 5.30 pm


June 11
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:



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