Research reveals future list of lucrative recycled metals

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 19 Oct 2017 12:18
Rare metals listed for recycling

A new report has identified the metals believed to show the most promise for recovery and recycling over the next decade.

The research carried out by consulting firm Oakdene Hollins is based on forecasted supply deficits and focuses on future demand from technology.

The report was produced for the London Environmental Investment Forum’s conference ‘Investing in Resource Recovery’ which takes place next Friday October 28.

Demand for ‘technology’ and other specialty metals, which include rare earths, has sky-rocketed in recent years with the rise of hi-tech electronics and clean technologies.

However, the report warns investors and corporations looking to enter the market for critical metals recovery to be aware of several issues which can affect demand and impact on prices.

Nick Morley said: “Criticality is much more complex than being purely about physical scarcity. It includes factors such as political risk, concentration of production and ‘importance’ of the materials.

“The debate over criticality is informative, but it does not directly amount to an investment opportunity.

“The challenge for investors is to be able to cut through the current hype surrounding many metals.” and to be aware of a number of specific issues to be able to make an informed investment.”

The report identifies the rare earths, neodymium and dysprosium; as well as tellurium, indium, gallium, platinum group, tantalum and (non-metal) graphite, as having the greatest supply-demand imbalances for 2016-2020 due to the high demand growth forecast for specific applications and relative limitations on increasing their supply.

“For each of these metals there are a number of specific issues that investors need to be aware of in order to be able to make an informed investment such as whether the metal is highly reliant on a single application and therefore vulnerable to technological change and substitution. Or whether it’s produced as a by-product of much larger base metals, such as tellurium from copper, and consequently has a negligible impact on the profits of miners,” said Mr Morley.

Tom Whitehouse, Chairman of the London Environmental Investment Forum, which connects capital with environmental innovation through a series of conferences, said: “Investors need to know where the opportunities lie. They’re broad, and it’s not just about investing in commodities but taking a closer look at who’s already doing what in the sector, in terms of recovery, and where the next big growth stories might be.

“We’re seeing traditional mining companies waking up to the potential of recycling and ‘coming clean’. AIM listed ZincOx is one that's shifting its focus from primary mining to recycling - recovering zinc from steel production waste - and following the likes of Umicore which was originally a mining stock and is now one of the key players in metals recycling.”

European environment chiefs this week launched a resource efficiency campaign to encourage consumers to think about conserving with such schemes as recycle mobile phone campaigns.



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