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  • Writer's picturekirstycriticalmineral

"As much as I love manufacturing & electrification, this is about saving the planet" - Jacqui Murray

Interview with Jacqui Murray, Deputy Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, Innovate UK

The Critical Minerals Association's 'Perception of Mining Working Group' Co-Chairs, Lucy Crane, Cornish Lithium & Ben Lepley, SRK Consulting interviewed Jacqui Murray, Deputy Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, covering:

  • What do you think are the key challenges to creating a UK battery industry?

  • What does success for the Faraday Battery Challenge look like for you?

  • How do you feel the balance between recycling and mining is at the moment, where do you see this changing in the near future?

  • What does sustainable mining mean to you?

  • What do you think we can do to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects and to chose engineering as a degree?

The Faraday Battery Challenge:

There is a £12 billion opportunity for the UK in the battery value chain alone by 2025. The UK Government invests in research and innovation projects and facilities to catalyse the growth of a strong battery business in the UK. This challenge works across the value chain with the aim of making the UK a centre for world-class battery technology. One size doesn’t fit all, and the UK needs a host of battery technologies to enable its electrified future.

Interview highlights:

"We've got to look at things through reality and not rely our perceptions. When we look at mining, we will always have to mine raw materials until we get to a purely circular economy - and that's not going to happen, so we have to work on continual improvements." 

"We all have a part to play. Sustainable mining is about having really robust, auditable supply chains in mining that show that people are being paid a fair wage, mining is safe and has appropriate conditions. It's important that we as consumers don't just keep buying the cheapest options and that we have these regulations in place."

"Climate change isn't going to wait. We're not going to have a choice. People are starting to say I want electric vehicles, I want to change my impact on this planet and we're starting to see an uptake of electric vehicles."

"The reality is we have no recycling in the UK for EV batteries, the volumes here aren't enough at the moment. That's not to say that the research isn't going on, or that there aren't very interesting companies and projects looking at the UK as an opportunity. Cars are subject to legislation here and you still have to recycle 50% by mass of every battery that comes out of EVs. What happens at the moment is it gets shipped abroad and there's a significant cost involved in this. Watch this space!"

"I want more women, more minorities to come into STEM. STEM jobs are going to be 'changing the world' jobs, jobs with real purpose. I don't know any geoscientist, or engineer or environmental scientist or anyone around manufacturing who isn't working hard to make things better. Increased diversity doesn't disadvantage the majority - a more diverse group gets much higher performances." 

"It's not just about being academically really clever - there's roles for everyone in STEM and I think that's the bit we need to teach back in."

Thanks Jacqui!

Find out more about the Faraday Battery Challenge here.

Plus check out The Faraday Institution's 'STEM Day in a Box', - it provides hands-on learning materials for KS2 students with A Fully Charged Battery Box and activities to explore batteries, circuits and even make electric cars!

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