Demand for primary metals and minerals is projected to escalate over the next 30 years, driven by rising global population, economic growth and rapid urbanization, and the spread of digital technologies and low-carbon / renewable energy solutions (e.g., for generation and energy storage). The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has identified that the transition to a low-carbon economy will result in increased primary demand for metals that include aluminum, copper, lithium, silver, nickel, lead, zinc, and others – some of which are in short supply. At the same time, the negative impacts of mining activities have come under increasing scrutiny as a result of major tailings dam failures and high-profile land, water, and community conflicts around the world.


As pressures mount to address social, environmental, and economic challenges in a more coherent and effective way, circular economy strategies provide a solution to helping minimize the mining sector’s impact through improved mine site practices, as well as improved material stewardship, secondary materials use, and enhanced resource recovery.


CELC’s Critical Minerals and Metals work stream is collaborating with partners (see partner list below) to explore how circular strategies can be applied to address issues and opportunities throughout the full supply chain, from the mine site, to consumer product design and use, including the role of investment and finance. It is examining how to incentivize better methods of extraction, processing, manufacturing, use, and re-use of minerals products and services, including urban mining.

The outcomes are focused on specific short and long term actions that various private and public actors can take individually and collectively to optimize the many values associated with circular economy strategies in the sector.


  • Guest Blog
  • Nov 6, 2023

Giving electric vehicle batteries a second life

Battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have become a common sight on Canadian roads. With the target of 100% zero-emission…

  • Blog
  • Feb 25, 2022

Mining for Circularity: The inconvenient (and promising) truth of the role of minerals in a circular economy

There is an interesting irony in the fact that if we are going to transition to a green energy future,…

  • Event Summary Report
  • Jan 19, 2022

End of Life Electronics: Optimizing Critical and Strategic Metals Recovery Through Circular Economy Approaches

Across the world, there are mounting concerns that the current state of End-of-Life Electronics (EOLE) waste has enormous economic, environmental,…

  • Report
  • Dec 5, 2021

Mining for Circularity: Five Strategic Insights

On September 15th 2021, 150 people from 30 countries convened to engage in dialogue to advance our understanding of mining…



  • Oct 13, 2021

End of Life Electronics: Optimizing Critical and Strategic Metals Recovery Through Circular Economy Approaches

Click here to view a recording of this event Read the summary report Held on October 13th, 2021 Hosts: This WCEF…

  • Oct 6, 2021

Towards A North American Circular Economy for Electric Vehicle Batteries

Held on October 6th, 2021 Hosts: This WCEF Side Event was hosted by Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), Materials Efficiency Research Group…

  • Sep 15, 2021

Circularity Across the Mining & Metals Value Chain

Held on September 15, 2021 To view a recording of this event, click here. Organizer: This WCEF2021 Accelerator event was organized by Circular…

  • Jun 10, 2021

The Strategic Role of Data in Advancing a More Circular Economy for Metals in the Automotive Supply Chair

Date: June 10, 2021 Time: 9am-1130am PT / 12pm-230pm ET Watch the recorded event here Read the Summary Report here With mining’s…

  • Oct 7, 2020

Mining for Circularity

On October 7th, Coreo and the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition in collaboration with the Canadian Government hosted Mining for Circularity,…