MSP-Refram ended in 2017. The consortium came together for the project’s final conference on 9-10 March 2017 in Brussels to share the main results and conclusions of their work.

The conference aimed at answering the following questions:

  • Why are tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, niobium and rhenium important to our society?
  • What are the main resources in Europe, both primary and secondary?
  • How are these metals being produced today?
  • Are they substitutable?
  • Could we improve the European independence in their supply and increase production? How?

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A secure access to refractory metals is highly strategic for Europe. Their resistance to extremely high temperatures, corrosion and wear in addition to several other unique characteristics make them extremely beneficial for various manufacturing applications in strategic EU industries, such as aerospace, energy and toolmaking. 

Today, with the exception of rhenium produced in Poland (15% of world production), and tungsten, produced in Austria, Spain and Portugal (2.7% of world production), these metals are mainly imported from China, Brazil, Chile but also from the USA and Canada.

Although primary refractory metal resources are limited in Europe, they can be found in secondary resources (industrial waste and urban mines) and are already being recycled from super alloys to some extent. The supplyvalue chain in the coming years could be improved if industry develops a better use of these secondary resources, optimises the use of external resources such as energy and water and at the same time reduces the amount and the toxicity of the waste. 

In this context, members of the PROMETIA association, whose expertise cover the whole refractory metals value chain, gathered to address this challenge by setting up the MSP-REFRAM project.


MSP-REFRAM aimed to establish a durable multi-stakeholder network to carry out a comprehensive study of the entire value chain of key refractory metals including mining, processing, recycling and final applications (and potential substitution opportunities), and taking account of crosscutting aspects: policy/society, technology and market.


The MSP-REFRAM consortium includes industry, SMEs, research and technology centres, academia, a public authority and the PROMETIA association.



Contact us!

stephaneIf you are looking for more information on the MSP-REFRAM project, please contact:

Stéphane Bourg, CEA (Marcoule, France)


europe  This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 688993