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Dr Kathryn Moore

Critical metals

Critical Metals are the wide range of metals with specialist chemical and physical properties that are used in small quantities in the manufacture of low-carbon and emerging modern technologies. They are also the metals that are produced by a small number of countries, frequently with political and social infrastructures that create a substantial supply risk. The critical metals are included in assessments of critical raw materials by countires around the world. Importantly critical raw materials also include minerals and, in most recent lists, biotic materials such as natural rubber.

The critical metals include those that are mined as primary commodities and those that are produced as by-products at refineries. My research largely focuses on those critical metals that are produced as primary commodities. I investigate the geological processes that concentrate the critical metals in magmatic and magmatic-hydrothermal ore systems, often those related to carbonatites, alkaline rocks and granites. I am concerned with the issue of geological variability in ore deposits and how early reporting can be adapted to inform mining and processing challenges.