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Mineral resources and the circular economy

Contributing to the circular economy to meet our mineral needs

Introduction d'entête
Minerals are under increasing pressure from the digital transformation and energy transition. In moving towards a more circular economy, minerals should be considered today both as primary and secondary resources. BRGM is one of the few European institutions that can contribute to all aspects of the mineral cycle.

Waste from construction sites is both a challenge and an opportunity for minerals today. Mineral recycling is one of the issues BRGM is working on. © AdobeStock


Rising demand for metals and minerals has meant that the supply of certain mineral materials has become critical, and the shift to a circular economy is not sufficient to meet this demand. This tension has turned access to mineral resources into a major issue, and the availability and supply of minerals, especially of strategic metals, needs to be closely monitored.

BRGM observes the life cycle and value chain of minerals, including by modelling their flows and dynamics, from assessing the availability of primary deposits to investigating the economic uses and recycling of mineral resources. BRGM’s research considers environmental, economic and social drivers in order to support the development of a more circular economy and more responsible mining.

BRGM thus develops predictive metallogenic approaches to improve the detection, extraction and use of primary mineral resources. It also designs innovative solutions for making the treatment and recycling of mineral resources, including construction metals and waste, more efficient, by promoting less energy-intensive technologies with reduced environmental impact.

Chiffre clé
Description du chiffre clé

million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment produced in the world.