EDITOR: | June 8th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Lifton urges more recycling of technology metals or we’ll run out

| June 08, 2016 | 1 Comment

Lifton_JackJack Lifton, Senior Editor at Investorintel, presented at the 5th Annual Cleantech and Technology Metals Summit held recently in Toronto on May 10-11, 2016. In this video he explains some key issues facing technology metals.

Take rhenium. The world now produces 50 tonnes a year. But rhenium is a by-product of molybdenum, which is a companion metal of copper. If we want to increase rhenium production, it would involve mining millions more tonnes of copper. Jack Lifton says that is never going to happen. And what is true of rhenium is true of other technology metals: recycling will be key to future supply.

In his presentation he also:

    • Outlines how all technology metals derive as by-product, or as a companion metal, of other metals.
    • Explains the quite different needs of Western economies and those of the developing command economies.
    • Reveals that, in his view, recycling technology metals will become the big push over the coming 10 years.


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  • jeff stufsky

    Jack (and Robin): I could not agree with you more about the importance of recycling. This is true whether speaking in general terms or more specifically about the relatively limited availability of by-product technology metals hidden in all kinds of products that increasingly drive modern life. As a former trader and current long-time banker to producers and industrial companies in the mining & metals space I have seen first-hand the value of supply chain adequacy and low production costs. The recycling of many technology metals is becoming more important to supply chain adequacy than ever before, but its cost (of extracting the proverbial needle in a haystack) probably dominates the decision-making landscape. This is especially true in a free market – but also even in a command economy with a “real” industrial policy. So I guess that what matters most is the whether or not recycling is presently viewed being as cost-effective, or whether it will take a scare to jar companies and/or democratic capitalist governments (e.g., the US) into action for the sake of “survival”. By then the input cost will reflect the “survival” value.

    June 9, 2016 - 1:35 PM

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