Living with Minerals 4 - Shaping UK minerals policy - Part 4

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Living with Minerals 4 - Shaping UK minerals policy - Part 4

  1. 1. Living with minerals 4Shaping UK minerals policy Globalism to localism 7 November 2011
  2. 2. EU Raw Materials Supply Initiative– updateGwenole Cozigou, DirectorEuropean Commission Enterprise andIndustryDirectorate-GeneralLiving with minerals 4: Shaping UK minerals policyGlobalism to localism
  3. 3. Living with minerals 4Shaping UK minerals policy Globalism to localism 7 November 2011
  4. 4. Case studies – the link betweenmineralsand security of food supply andother usesProfessor David Manning, Professor ofSoil ScienceNewcastle UniversityLiving with minerals 4: Shaping UK minerals policyGlobalism to localism
  5. 5. The Link Between Minerals and Security of Food Supply David Manning FGS CSci CGeol EurGeol Professor of Soil Science Newcastle University
  6. 6. At the heart of the problemGlobal population is growing, but (overall) at adecreasing rate: 7 billion in 2012 9 billion in 2050
  7. 7. At the heart of the problemGlobal population is growing, but (overall) at adecreasing rate: 7 billion in 2012 9 billion in 2050 Africa: 1 billion in 2012 2 billion in 2050
  8. 8. At the heart of the problemThe global population needs mineral resources.GDP and mineral use correlate: Minerals GDPUSGS: Rogich, D.G., and Matos, G.R., 2008, The global flows of metals and minerals: U.S. GeologicalSurvey Open-File Report 2008–1355, 11 p., available only online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1355/.
  9. 9. We need minerals more than ever• As raw materials for industry• As fuels• As fertilisersBut there are pressures:• How can we guarantee security of raw material supply?• What about ‘peak phosphorus’?• How can we reconcile fossil fuel use with climate change, and keep the lights on?• What might the alternatives be?
  10. 10. We need to understand minerals more than ever• And to use intelligence:
  11. 11. Fertiliser minerals• These illustrate very well some of the paradoxes that exist• They are absolutely essential to support human life• When we remove a crop, we mine nutrients from the soil• When we import a crop, do we pay the farmers enough to replace the nutrients?
  12. 12. The price of fertilisers has boomed:
  13. 13. Fertiliser prices• Prices peaked in 2008• N and P price rises matched those of oil, and came down to pre-2008 levels• K has stayed high• K reached $1000/tonne in some markets in 2008• K is three times the price it was in 2007 (now almost $500/tonne)
  14. 14. What about phosphorus?• Cordell, D., Drangert, J.-O., and White, S., (2009) The Story of Phosphorus: Global food security and food for thought. Global Environmental Change, 19, 292-305
  15. 15. 16 countries produce 95% of the world’s P (159 MT phosphate rock)30% global production 10-20% global production 1-10% global production
  16. 16. The phosphorus paradox• People talk about ‘peak phosphorus’, based on analogies with oil This does not take into account the huge resource base; very different from oil. • Cordell, D., Drangert, J.-O., and White, S., (2009) The Story of Phosphorus: Global food security and food for thought. Global Environmental Change, 19, 292-305
  17. 17. Reserves are only part of the storyP resources are enormous (USGS)
  18. 18. Phosphorus occurs in abundance• USGS reports that there are 1600 known phosphorus mines, extinct, dormant, active.• P reserves (and projected life) have increased from 100 years to nearly 400 years: Tonnes phosphate rock
  19. 19. Phosphorus occurs in abundance• USGS reports that there are 1600 known phosphorus mines, extinct, dormant, active.• P reserves (and projected life) have increased from 100 years to nearly 400 years: Financial Times, 7 September 2011 Tonnes phosphate rock
  20. 20. The phosphorus paradox• Why do we throw away so much P?• Phosphate pollution is a major issue – how can we use P more sustainably? – Struvite (NH4MgPO4.6H2O) – Sewage as a source of PWe can recover P from waste waters
  21. 21. Potash (K)• Very different to P• Much more soluble• More limited in terms of sources• Not a pollutant, apparentlyDifficult to recover from waste waters
  22. 22. Why is K so important?K is a vital mineral component of all crops:K that is consumed has to be replaced.
  23. 23. Demand for potash• Although northern hemisphere countries have enough K inputs, there are major shortfalls in K addition elsewhere.• Nutrient balance studies show that replacement of K removed with crops is often inadequate.• Worldwide potash mine production needs to double to balance offtake at the present day.
  24. 24. Africa, for example:Sheldrick and Lingard(2004):
  25. 25. Africa, for example:Sheldrick and Lingard From FAO data:(2004): Africa consumes 485000 T potash/year. 47/57 African countries buy no K fertiliser. About 1.5% of world potash production feeds 15% of the world’s population.
  26. 26. 12 countries produce 99% of the world’s K (33.5 MT K2O equivalent)35% global production 10-20% global production 1-10% global production
  27. 27. Potash production• Very different to P: Tonnes K2O
  28. 28. Potash is big business
  29. 29. Potash price and supply• Unlikely to go below $350/tonne• World production needs to double• Suppliers control the market
  30. 30. 90% of potash reserves are found in North America35% global production 10-20% global production 1-10% global production
  31. 31. Fertiliser minerals present a challenge• Will conventional products be accessible (price, logistics) to growing populations, which will double in Africa?• How can we use our knowledge of geological/soil processes to fill the gaps in provision, if conventional fertilisers are inaccessible?An urgent area for research
  32. 32. Conclusions• Minerals are vital for society• The challenge of the next 30 years is enormous• We need intelligence and expertise of the type that the British Geological Survey provides• The materials that we need to mine are in the ground• Our universities need to create new knowledge to rise to the challenge

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