Session – Raw Materials for a Hi-Tech World: Geology, Mineralogy and Geometallurgy

Modern technology, including ‘green’ tech such as renewable energy and electric cars, is dependent on a wider range of raw materials than ever before. Such raw materials – including cobalt, lithium, the rare earth elements, selenium, tellurium, platinum group elements, niobium and many others – are currently mined from a relatively limited number of deposits worldwide. Improved understanding of the geology, mineralogy and geometallurgy of these deposits is vital to ensure secure, sustainable supply of the raw materials.

This session invites presentations on all aspects of the life-cycle of the ‘hi-tech’ raw materials, from geological understanding to mineral processing and metal recovery, with a particular focus on the mineralogy and geometallurgy of deposits. Presentations are welcomed on both onshore and offshore deposits, and on both primary and secondary resources. Contributions that demonstrate how mineralogical research can support sustainable exploration, exploitation and processing of mineral deposits are particularly encouraged.

This session is supported by the Security of Supply of Minerals (SoS Minerals) programme in the UK, and by the IUGS Resourcing Future Generations initiative.


Session convenor

Dr Kathryn Goodenough (United Kingdom)
British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre

Kathryn Goodenough is a Senior Geologist at the British Geological Survey, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her research focus is on studying mineral deposits, particularly deposits of the critical metals, and setting them into their broader geodynamic context. Kathryn is currently involved in three major international research consortia (EURARE, SoS RARE, and Hitech AlkCarb) that are making major advances in understanding all aspects of the supply chain for the rare earth elements and associated critical metals. These projects encompass field geology, mineralogy, geometallurgy and minerals processing, for a range of potential deposits from carbonatites in Greenland to weathered alkali granites in Madagascar.

She has had a long association with the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, having been General Secretary from 2011-2016, and was involved in the Science Committee for IMA in Edinburgh in 2002: so I’m greatly looking forward to presenting our ongoing research at IMA 2018.



  • Dr Dan Smith
  • Professor Richard Herrington
  • Dr Bramley Murton