Austria: A Master Plan Against Raw Material Dependence

15. December 2021 | Market

Resource extraction in the country is to be expanded. International cooperation necessary for the supply of gallium and other technology metals.

Austria’s Minister of Mines, Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP), has had a “Raw Materials Master Plan 2030″ drawn up in cooperation with industry. This plan defines 75 measures to make the supply of raw materials more resistant to political crises, natural disasters or other unforeseeable events.

Security of supply is also becoming a political focus due to the ambitious targets for renewable energies. These are to cover 100 percent of demand by 2030. Currently, the share of fossil fuels is 67 percent.

The raw materials for solar cells or wind turbines could be partly mined in Austria. Mining in Austria must therefore be strengthened, the news agency APA quoted the minister as saying. In the case of silicon, indium, gallium and, above all, germanium, however, Austria will continue to be dependent on imports in the future. To achieve Austria’s expansion targets, four and a half times the global germanium production would be necessary, Köstinger added.

Rare earths, which mainly come from China, are also indispensable for environmentally and climate-friendly energy production, the plan states. Raw material partnerships with resource-rich countries must therefore be promoted and designed in such a way that they are advantageous for both sides.

The implementation of the measures is to be examined as part of an annual monitoring process and, if necessary, proposals for adjustments are to be drawn up.

Photo: iStock/FotoGablitz

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