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“There wouldn’t be a society as we know it without mining” – Interview with Barry Wills

“There wouldn’t be a society as we know it without mining” – Dr Barry Wills


The Critical Minerals Association's 'Perception of Mining Working Group' Co-Chair, Ben Lepley, SRK Consulting interviewed Dr Barry Wills below, covering the following:

  • How have you been involved in getting young people interested in minerals exploration/ processing/ engineering?

  • How has the industry changed in terms of diversity over your 51-year career?

  • What do critical minerals mean to you?

  • What are the challenges and opportunities to bringing more young people into STEM subjects and mining careers?

Interview highlights:


"Politicians haven’t got a clue about the need for new materials. Boris Johnson says Britain is going to be the Saudi Arabia of wind power and by 2030 all homes will be powered by wind. Where are all the new materials going to come from? This takes no account of all the energy needed to produce these materials."

"I don’t talk to young people about mining technology, but how crucial it is for society.We have to go out to schools and talk to as many people as possible and highlight the crucial importance of minerals. When I was at Camborne School of Mines we set up a degree in minerals processing in the 1970s, and I went out to schools with a flotation cell in the boot of my car and showed them flotation and explained how important it was and how important mining was and I never came away from a school without recruiting at least 2 students. Because the students are interested – but if you don’t talk to them, they don’t know anything about it and can’t be interested."


Thanks Barry!

The Critical Minerals Association is proud to be an Associate Partner of the Minerals Engineering International MEI 2021 Conferences


There is a Final Call for Abstracts for the MEI Comminution conference 2021. Check out https://lnkd.in/etB9hGu for details - short abstracts should be emailed to Barry Wills by the end of October 2020

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Critical Minerals Association

London, UK

@ Critical Minerals Association 2020