Extraction 2018 pp 2513-2522 | Cite as

Critical Materials Traceability: More Important Than Metallurgy

  • J. R. GoodeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Up to one half of neodymium and praseodymium production, key ingredients in permanent magnets, is produced illegally. About 60% of cobalt production, critical in lithium-ion batteries and other applications, comes from central African states, and much of it is produced illegally. Tantalum, important in modern electronics, is also primarily sourced from central Africa and, again, much of it illegally. Illegal mineral production, as exemplified here, is often used to fund armed conflict. Furthermore, it is typically conducted with scant regard for human rights and environmental protection. It also leads to depressed prices which in turn limits the possibility of legitimate producers entering the market. Systems of traceability and provenance, along with cooperative supply chain participants can limit the production of illegitimate material and thereby improve conditions in the countries of origin and reduce downward pressure on prices.


Traceability Critical materials Rare earths Cobalt Tin Tantalum Tungsten 



Sections of this paper were researched and written as part of the author’s preparation of a White Paper for the CSA Group covering the traceability of rare earths.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.J. R. Goode and AssociatesTorontoCanada

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