Publication Type:

Book Chapter


2nd Environmental Considerations in Energy Production Conference, September 20, 2015 - September 23, 2015, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), Pittsburgh, PA, United states, p.162-182 (2015)


Environmental technology, Geology, Health risks, Heterojunctions, Industrial research, International trade, Investments, Mergers and acquisitions, Rare earth elements, rare earths, Risk perception, Social aspects


North America is involved in the race to meet the global demand for rare earth elements (REE), provide a source of REE outside China, and provide a stable source of heavy REEs, (HREE) in particular. Funded by industry, academia, government and other sources, a variety of new REE-focused partnerships have evolved to assist industry to production globally, regionally, and within Canada. These REE industry partnerships show tremendous opportunity for advancing industrial research collaboration that will enrich future green energy and green technologies. In Canada, the focus of REE partnerships has been to bring Canada into production to capture 20% of the global market by 2018. However, the case study of the Canadian Rare Earth Elements Network (CREEN) leads to important questions about opportunities to improve the environmental and social performance of this sector. Opportunities exist to complement the CREEN research strategy with a medical geology initiative that increases the focus on public health, safety, and opinion. Canadian federal government initiatives that recognize community concerns about radiation and transparent scientifically predicted analysis of the potential consequences of REE mine development within a regulatory organization are also presented. This paper raises new questions about how Canada can guide further investment in the science and technology of REE production including proactive measures to address the environmental challenges of REE mining and processing. This paper offers two main contributions to the literature on Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) in general and Green Mining Initiative (GMI) partnerships, in particular. The first concerns the question - How does CREEN conceptualize the social license to operate; and, how is this conceptualization understood by project managers within Pele Mountain, Avalon, Commerce Resources, Quest and Rare Minerals (London 2014; London HC 2014)? The second contribution suggests that the interdisciplinary research initiative known as medical geology can feed into the research strategy of CREEN to address the general public's risk perceptions of mining radioactive minerals (i.e., common co-occurrence of U and Th with REE mineralization). This medical geology initiative will allow CREEN to gain a better understanding of how the REE industry, working in specific geographic locations, can help us better understand geographic areas vulnerable to health risks that are geologically and geographically linked. All of this work builds Canada's contribution to the global REE supply so that clean-energy/green energy initiatives can grow quickly and sustainably (Laurent et al 2014; London PR9 2015, Phillips and Chandrika 2011).


Compilation and indexing terms, Copyright 2018 Elsevier Inc.<br/>20154701580494<br/>Corporate and social responsibilities<br/>Environmental challenges<br/>Geographic location<br/>Industry partnerships<br/>Interdisciplinary research<br/>Regulatory organizations<br/>Research collaborations<br/>Science and Technology