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Recent expansion in the demand for clean-energy and efficient technologies has led to demand for a variety of exotic, rare, or “strategic” metals. Some of these are physically rare, while others are economically or politically unavailable. In order to fill the gap between supply and demand, and to ensure future resources, various unconventional resources are being examined. This chapter discusses deep-ocean and industrial ecology–based solutions for providing these materials and provides considerations of how such resources can be considered within a framework of sustainable development. Specifically, this chapter addresses the importance of the social elements of the rare metals supply chain, examining the elements of local stakeholder impact and the broader, global public interest represented by the technologies utilizing such metals. The chapter also considers how technical and environmental knowledge derived from geosciences can have an impact on stakeholder support for alternative resources.

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