Critical Metals in Orogens

CMiO ANR-23-CE01-0017

As the world shifts away from fossil fuels and enters an energy and ecological transition associated to the expansion of digital technologies, Europe needs to produce enormous numbers of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and batteries and to regain sufficient autonomy for a pervasive digitalization.

Consequently, the European demand for critical raw materials (CRM) will skyrocket .

Europe is facing a major challenge: securing access to CRM by increasing the resilience of the supply chain and building a sustainable low-carbon economy. Indium (In), gallium (Ga) and germanium (Ge) are used in the production of solar panels and are essential to electronics and digital technologies (semiconductors, transistors, etc.).

We are on the cusp of a critical metal boom and therefore, we need to address urgently our approach to exploration and mining of CRM, otherwise the looming supply shortage in the coming decades will lead to a range of geopolitical, economic, and environmental issues.

The overarching aim of this project is to locate the new critical minerals resources vital for Europes future low carbon economy. As a successful and socially acceptable Energy Transition and Green Deal rely on responsible sourcing, we will focus on two objectives:

O1: find value in new CRM resources in known base ore deposits & mines by unravelling the secondary metamorphic and tectonic processes that play a key role in concentrating CRM
• O2: unlock CRM resources trapped in mine wastes and engage in the CRM circular economy