Minerals have been of significant importance for mankind throughout industrial history, from the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages to the present, demonstrating that every new discovery leads in turn to innovations.
It is these innovations that bring step-changes in technology, which in turn drives new demand for minerals that may previously have been under-utilised or completely unused.
As new technologies have emerged and existing ones have evolved, the demand patterns for raw materials have shifted, with an increasing number of raw materials in demand for their specific physical or chemical properties.
These raw materials are often referred to as ‘technology metals’ or ‘strategic raw materials’.
You can access Rebecca Morgan’s full article on the AusIMM Bulleton website.