Critical metals were defined as those metals essential for high-tech, medical and defense industry but with low availability due to uneven geographical distribution, thus resulting a high price volatility. The challenge of the future is to assure a stable supply of critical materials and implicitly of critical high-tech metals and this will be possible through multiple approaches such as intelligent mining, urban mining, extensive recycling and reutilization. The reports of European Commission regarding critical raw materials will be reviewed. In the same time, potential alternative sources and possible new biotechnologies for the future will be explored. Extraction of metals by means of microorganisms is an established biotechnology and is applied worldwide for processing of sulfidic low-grade ores. The mineral processing using microorganisms has been extended for copper, gold, nickel, cobalt, zinc, and uranium. Here, we shall explore the possibility of biomining for the recovery of critical metals from secondary sources.
Poster presentation in Circular economy and industrial symbiosis-POSTER SESSION