Critical Raw Materials: NIMBYS vs. the CRMA

by | 11. Oct 2023 - 11:10 | Politics

Acceleration of mining projects in Europe meets with resistance.

The London Metal Exchange Week is taking place in London this week. The topic at the annual industry meeting on Tuesday was also the European Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), with which the EU wants to secure the continent’s supply of raw materials. In addition to increased recycling efforts, this also includes expanding resource extraction. According to the draft, ten percent of the annual consumption of critical minerals is to be covered by domestic extraction, achieved, among other things, by accelerating approval procedures. However, there is resistance to this, as Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, head of the EU Commission’s Internal Market and Industry Directorate, explained. Some member states wanted to override the time limits for approval, the Reuters news agency quotes him. They are 24 months for mining projects and twelve months for processing plants. Nunes de Almeida sees yet another obstacle, NIMBYS, an acronym for “Not in my backyard,” the English equivalent of the Saint Florian principle, in other words, and a designation for those who reject both raw material extraction and processing in their own neighborhood. In Europe, there are at least two prominent examples of this rejection, Matamulas in Spain and Norra Kärr in Sweden, for which the mining industry is not entirely innocent, according to the Colorado School of Mines.

Read more: On the sidelines of London Metal Exchange Week, members of the US-initiated Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) also gathered for a meeting.

Photo: iStock/kokouu

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