[ Dr. Raden Sukhyar – Founder of Center for Mineral and Metal Industry studies, Director General of Mineral and Coal Mining (2013-2015) ]
I wish to congratulate the Unconventional Geo-Resources Research Group, Gadjah Mada University, that was just founded. This establishment is in line with the need to respond the current rise of global demand of certain materials. Currently there is a growing concern in many countries to search new sources of minerals and metals as raw materials to support clean and high-tech industries. Developed countries such EU countries and USA have demonstrated their concern on specific materials what is called critical materials. They worry of supply disruption to their strategic industries that may harm their economy. This condition leads to tight competition among countries to meet their demands. Besides, recently World Economic Forum introduced what is so called Circular Economy, which sees that materials will never pose their ending use. Thus, there is no terminology of wastes anymore, they can be reprocessed and reused, this is in the same time as measure to overcome the increasing material demand. Indonesia also indicates some minerals and metal are essential to the industries such as iron, aluminium, copper, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements (REE) which are included in the master plan of national industry for the year 2015-2035 (Rencana Induk Pembangunan Industri Nasional, RIPIN 2015-2035), and additionally elements of chromium, manganese, titanium, vanadium, stibium and molybdenum which are required for the defence industry.
There are two type of unconventional resources. The first is primary resources that is very rarely exploited for commercial purposes and some resource types are quite new sources such Li and B in active geothermal brines and from oil and gas brine water, REE in soil, coal and bauxites, or accompanying minerals such as titanium and REE in tin sands. The second is that is contained in residues of industries which are resulted from processing of primary resource, such as REE, titanium, iron, and vanadium from red muds as the residues from Bayer’s process of bauxite into alumina, and also REE, niobium, wolfram and titanium from tin slags. Not to mention many other examples are as the opportunity.
Eventually I support this research group, the challenges are enormous and these all are the opportunity for innovation.
Dr. Raden Sukhyar
Dr. Raden Sukhyar - Founder of Center for Mineral and Metal Industry studies, Director General of Mineral and Coal Mining (2013-2015)