The work of the European Commission (report CE 2010) has shown that a certain number of elements, notably metals, risk to rapidly become the objects of international rivalries because of their strategic importance to modern technology. It is therefore possible that we will soon be faced with a breakdown in metal supply. Many metals, such as the rare earths, the platinoid elements and uranium, are finding new applications both in modern manufactured products and in techniques related to carbon-free energy. Several years ago access to natural metal resources, which were both abundant and easily accessible, caused little concern. However recent economic and political changes suggest that this may not always be the case, making it essential to assure the supply of these resources, at the European and national levels, for the coming century. In this context, it becomes necessary to redefine the notion of resources in terms of geologic context, metal concentration in rocks, separation and concentration techniques, and recycling, while integrating the aspects of ecotoxological impact and environmental management.
Dans ce but, la notion de ressource doit être redéfinie en terme de :
This subject is therefore of economic and strategic importance, and presents numerous challenges in geology, geochemistry, regional modeling, separation of metals present in low concentrations, recycling, environmental impact and ecotoxicology of increasingly exploited metals, development of new sensors and systematic observation.
RESSOURCES21 will address several of the important challenges related to the problem of assuring an adequate supply of critical and rare metals for the coming century.In order to meet this goal, the seven partners will develop new approaches that combine their competences and knowledge:
- Multi-element analysis
- Separation, concentration and recycling
- Environmental impact
The project RESSOURCES21 proposes an integrated scientific and educational approach to the understanding, exploitation and environmental management of strategic metal resources for the 21th century.
It is supported by 7 research laboratories
of the OTELo and the teaching departments in Geoscience and Environment of the University of Lorraine (including the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie - ENSG, the department of Geosciences of Nancy and the department of Biology of Metz.
The RESSOURCES21 detain a working fund of 900 000 € per year during 10 years.