Institute contributes to strategically important metals debate

26 Jan 2011

Dr Bernie Rickinson, CEO of IOM3, has added to the materials scarcity
debate by giving oral evidence to the House of Commons' Science and
Technology Committee.

He spoke about metals mining and the importance of 'controlling [rare materials'] use' as a 'legacy we must protect'. The use of rare earth metals (REM) in everyday items was explained, including how 1.2kg of REM can be found in a standard car, while further discussion talked of how the use of cobalt in medical implants makes it important for wealth creation. Dr Rickinson also spoke about how certain elements can be substituted for one another.

Talking of the UK's renewable energy targets, Dr Rickinson argued that 'If the UK wishes to drive a strategy towards wind power for renewable energy...the use of [rare earth elements] is going to be critical to the development of that strategy'. Advice was given to the Committee regarding how to overcome supply issues for critical materials.

The Institute was invited to give oral evidence following its written submission to Government late last year.

Further information

Watch the 'Strategically
important metals' evidence session