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Critical Minerals Association - Working Group Chairs

The Critical Minerals Association (CMA) currently has five working groups, where members come together to share common interests and discuss mutual challenges. These working groups form the fabric of the association - and a lot is happening behind the scenes!

From sharing news updates, and bringing together experts for thought-provoking discussions, our members collaborate in our working groups and determine the workshops, events, reports, interviews, and outreach programmes needed to drive the UK's critical minerals agenda.

The CMA currently has five working groups:

-> UK Domestic Critical Minerals

-> Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

-> Circular Economy

-> Public Perceptions & Engagement

-> International Critical Minerals

With the support of our members and our working groups, the CMA has been able to successfully bring critical minerals and supply chain issues to Government’s attention. After two years of hard work, we are proud to have influenced the UK’s Net Zero Strategy, the formation of the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre, and the release of the UK’s very first Critical Minerals Strategy.

We owe many thanks to our brilliant working group Chairs who commit their time and expert knowledge to help progress our goals of creating responsible supply chains, bridging the gap between industry and governments, and educating civil society about modern mining. We would also like to thank all of the active participants of the working groups for their enthusiasm, expertise and ideas.

UK Domestic Critical Minerals

Chaired by:

-> Jane Joughin, Corporate Consultant, SRK Consulting

-> Richard Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Cornish Metals

Highlights: The UK Domestic Critical Minerals Group has been actively discussing barriers to attracting investment into the UK and existing challenges to growing a domestic supply of critical minerals. The group’s work has fed into both CMA ESG papers, ‘A Blueprint for Responsible Sourcing’, and ‘Breaking Down Barriers for Responsible Sourcing of Critical Minerals.’

The group has engaged with various stakeholders including local planning authorities and Government departments, on issues such as planning and permitting and Great Britain's mineral rights. The group organised a roundtable focusing on streamlining the Planning and Permitting system. A summary of the workshop is available here. Following a consultation, the group also published a paper on mineral rights, ‘Unlocking Great Britain’s Potential’, providing a series of recommendations on how the Government can help Industry overcome barriers and encourage investment in critical mineral exploration and development.

With thanks to former working group Chairs for their hard work in 2021 - Brett Grist, Former Exploration Manager, Cornwall Resources & Jeremy Wrathall, Founder & CEO, Cornish Lithium.

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Chaired by:

-> Aldo Pennini, Associate, Satarla

-> Marion Thomas, Giyani Metals

Highlights: The ESG group has been active in discussing and publishing thought leadership around responsible sourcing of critical minerals, to help the UK Government address security of supply issues, without compromising on delivering best practices.

The group published, ‘A Blueprint for Responsible Sourcing’, in July 2021, and its recommendations featured in the UK Government's Net Zero Strategy. This year, the group carried out a series of multi-stakeholder workshops with industry, academia, voluntary organisations and, Government. The findings of these workshops fed into the CMA’s latest paper, ‘Breaking Down Barriers for Responsible Sourcing of Critical Minerals’, launched in UK Parliament and supported by Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP. The paper re-emphasises the urgent actions the UK Government needs to take to develop responsible critical mineral supply chains, and the areas in which the UK has an opportunity to take a leading role.

Circular Economy

Chaired by:

-> Zama Dadan, Director, ARCH Emerging Markets Partners

Highlights: The Circular Economy Group partnered with C2M2A, Natural Resources Canada, and the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in Canada to deliver a two-day closed-door workshop on the circular economy, barriers and opportunities for Canada and the UK. The workshop yielded a technical report for the Governments and provided a series of recommendations.

The group is currently focused on legislative challenges, waste collection, recycling technology commercialisation, tailings and is partnering with the Royal Society of Chemistry to deliver an event on the circular economy.

With thanks to former working group Chairs for their hard work in 2021 - Chris O'Brien, Former ESG & GHG Senior Consultant, SRK Consulting & Simon Gardner-Bond, Chief Technical Officer, Techmet.

Public Perceptions & Engagement

Chaired by:

-> Ben Lepley, Consultant (ESG), SRK Consulting

-> Lucy Crane, ESG & Sustainability Manager, Cornish Lithium

Highlights: The Public Perceptions & Engagement Group aims to raise awareness of the importance of critical minerals to society and the various career pathways along critical mineral supply chains to young people.

The group has been actively interviewing and bringing together stakeholders who are working to attract more young people into the critical minerals sector. Group members support initiatives such as the Social Mobility Foundation’s Career Insight Days by sharing their career pathways with 16-year-olds and showing where geoscience, engineering and metallurgy degrees can lead to.

As a result of engaging with many stakeholders in this space, the group recently published a paper on ‘A Talent Pipeline’, focusing on how the UK Government can ensure that there are sufficient skills in geology, engineering and metallurgy to mitigate against an ageing workforce.

Most recently, the group teamed up with The Geological Society to deliver a series of talks, workshops, and a debate to gifted and talented 13-14-year-olds. The hybrid event welcomed 30 young students into Burlington House, London who were tasked with discussing the pros and cons of two mining projects, taking into consideration different perspectives including local stakeholders, politicians, ESG consultants, and mining companies.

International Critical Minerals

Chaired by:

-> Jonathan Henry, Non-Executive Chair, Giyani Metals

Established in 2022, the group focuses on international supply chains and the linkages to the UK, how Government can support UK companies operating overseas, and how it can attract foreign investment into the UK to secure the UK’s critical mineral needs.

The group successfully delivered a networking event, ‘Financing Critical Minerals Projects’, which brought together the world of finance with upstream and midstream industry. You can read S&P coverage of the event and call to action here.

With thanks to former working group Chair Elbert Loois, Former CEO, E-Tech Resources.

If you would like to take part in our working group activities, the Critical Minerals Association welcomes new members to help us shape the critical minerals agenda.

Find out more here: and please contact us for more information.

Article by Olimpia Pilch, International Partnerships & Business, CMA

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