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Technology Metals for a Green Future - Camborne School of Mines Free Online Course - Interview

The Critical Minerals Association's 'Perception of Mining Group' Chairs, Lucy Crane, Cornish Lithium, & Ben Lepley, SRK Consulting, interviewed the creators and main contributors of Camborne School of Mines's: ‘Technology Metals for a Green Future’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC):

  • Professor Frances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at Camborne School of Mines

  • Dr Kate Smith, Research Fellow for the European Union Horizon 2020 funded GREENPEG project and previously Project Manager for HiTech Alk Carb, Camborne School of Mines

  • Edward Loye, Formerly Project Administrator for SOS Rare researching rare earth element deposits in Namibia

‘Technology metals’ are crucial in combating climate change and for our transition to a low carbon society. This massive free course was designed to educate people from all professions and raise awareness of the importance of the mining industry to our daily lives.

Watch the interview here:

The ‘Technology Metals for a Green Future’ course covers:

  • A brief overview of the key geological processes which occur to concentrate the technology metals

  • How we obtain technology metals - processes in the mining chain including exploration, mining, processing and refining

  • Mining case studies in developed and developing countries

  • Mitigating environmental impacts of technology metals extraction and increasing sustainability in the supply chain

  • The Circular Economy

The course is now available all year round on Future Learn here. It compacts a massive array of information, from across the industry supply chain, in 4 easy weeks with 16 hours of content. Once you register you have 44 days to complete the courses allowing you to take it at your own pace. Over 3,000 people from over 110 countries have taken part since the course’s release in April 2020.

This course occurred as a side project to two research schemes; HiTech Alk Carb funded by Horizon 2020 and SoS RARE - a consortium project funded by NERC and EPSRC. Both schemes aimed to produce a piece of outreach for international professionals so to meet the criteria of both, Kate suggested developing a MOOC course. It was a huge undertaking, helpfully assisted by the University of Exeter’s partnership with Future Learn.

Frances, Kate and Ed hope this is the first of several courses to come. There may be another MOOC course coming from the ‘Met4Tech’ Circular Economy research project which Frances is currently undertaking. Encouraging young people into the mining sector is key and could be conducted by connecting with school teachers who cover topics on raw materials and climate change. Providing schools with content that could be inserted directly into the curriculum will hopefully will be another outcome of this MOOC course. Topics such

as the circular economy also don’t need to be restricted to science subjects but can arise anywhere where pupils come into contact with technology, as there are so many overlaps in our need for material and environmental impacts.

The interview ended with a very geological topic – everyone’s favourite rock - so be sure to check out the video for the answers!

The course now available all year round on Future Learn here.

Additionally, on the release of this MOOC course last year CMA did a written interview with the team which can be found here.

Article by Kiara Brooksby, MSc Mining Geology, Camborne School of Mines

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