Techno-economic assessment of the circularity potential for three strategic metals for Quebec: copper, iron and lithium

Client : In partnership with Institut EDDEC [Institute for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Circular Economy] and the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles [Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources] (MERN)—Canada

Period : 2015–2018

Description : A strategic project for Quebec, this project puts forward an original application of the NATEM model for optimizing the mining industry in a circular economy perspective. Over a three-year period, the model has undergone significant development to optimize the flow of materials and metals in a manner that integrates with energy flows. In collaboration with an inter-ministerial committee, a series of 13 circularity strategies out of the 41 previously identified were selected for an in-depth techno-economic potential study. Interesting avenues have been identified for capturing CO2 from iron slags, additive manufacturing, the eco-design of vehicles with lighter materials, and the use of batteries recycled from electric vehicles for photovoltaic electricity storage.