2nd International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy
“Raw Materials: setting the foundations for the Green Transition“
Raw materials are strongly connected to human development and the prosperity of Earth’s population and therefore, they are crucial to every country’s economy. Raw materials form a strong industrial base, producing a broad range of goods and applications used not only in everyday life but also in new strategic and green technologies. The global population growth, the rise in the standard of living and the drive for clean energy technologies are increasing the demand of mineral resources. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), there could be a 20-fold increase in demand for nickel and cobalt by 2040 to meet the needs of an increasingly electrified world, and the total copper demand will nearly double by 2035. Other raw materials, such as lithium, rare earth elements, vanadium, etc. are critically important for the transition to green energy, higher mobility and the digital world. At the same time, raw materials must be sourced in a sustainable and responsible way, achieving high-level environmental standards and social acceptance. All the above present both an opportunity and a challenge for the raw materials industry.
Reliable and unhindered access to certain raw materials is a growing concern across the globe. To ensure the sustainable supply of raw materials, it is crucial that the minerals sector, apart from exploring new regions and opening new projects, can also embrace the concept of a circular economy and identify opportunities for the rational use of raw materials, such as reducing and optimizing the use of materials, industrial symbiosis, recycling, reuse, remanufacturing, etc. By conserving materials embodied in high-value products, or returning waste to the economy as high-quality secondary raw materials, a circular economy could increase the efficiency of primary resource consumption. The transition from linear to circular economy is essential in achieving a resource-efficient and sustainable society.
In that respect the first international conference entitled “Raw Materials and Circular Economy – Technological Developments and Future Challenges” – RawMat2021, was organized on September 2021 in Athens, Greece aiming at the exchange of knowledge and experience on the application of circular economy principles in the raw materials sector. The conference was embraced by stakeholders involved in all steps of the materials value chain. Despite restrictions and uncertainties related to the COVID pandemic, RawMat2021 attracted 243 scientific presentations of very high quality, including 9 plenary and 22 keynote lectures, it was attended by more about 450 delegates from 22 different countries, and sponsored and actively supported by 29 private companies and public organizations.
Delighted by the success of RawMat2021 and considering that the raw materials sector is currently under the spotlight, the RawMat Organizing Committee decided to make RawMat a recurrent event. RawMat2023 will have the theme “Raw Materials: setting the foundations for the Green Transition” It is organized by the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens and the Technical Chamber of Greece and will take place from August 28 to September 2, 2023 in Athens, Greece. The first three (3) days (Aug. 28–30) are allocated to technical presentations, and the remaining three days to field trips and other side events.
RawMat2023 topics cover a wide range of raw materials related activities, including strategies on raw materials supply, exploration, mining, mineral processing, metallurgy, energy, waste valorization, recycling, Industry 4.0 transformation with emphasis on Green Transition issues. We are convinced that the RawMat2023 will, once again, bring together industry executives and engineers, junior and senior scientists, stakeholders and policy makers, professionals and academics from the whole raw materials value chain.
Prof. Anthimos Xenidis