February Speaker: Exploring the Mineral-Security Nexus, by Thomas Hale

by Cindy Schmidtlein, MSDC Vice President

Our speaker for this month is Thomas Hale, a PhD student at the University of Delaware in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences with a special emphasis on critical materials. His research explores the nexus between the extractive sector and security, or what he coins the “Mineral-Security Nexus.”

Tom is well known to many MSDC members from the non-profit organization he started called Friends of Mineralogy Virginia (FMVA). The organization works with industry and teacher associations, along with academic institutions and museums, to increase awareness around minerals.

Tom's presentation will provide a broad overview of the nexus between minerals and national security, their impact on international affairs, and their growing role in decarbonization efforts and the energy transition. He will present his concept of mineral diplomacy as a method to view the world’s most-pressing challenges through a mineral lens; from conflict zones, critical mineral supply chains, climate change, and U.S. national security policy. Mr. Hale will also discuss his research and some key policy developments in the U.S. surrounding critical mineral development.