Critical Raw Materials: Responsible Supply Chains in Focus

by | 11. Oct 2023 - 10:59 | Politics

Meeting of the Minerals Security Partnership in London. 17 global mining and recycling projects to improve the supply of minerals for the energy transition.

Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) members met on the sidelines of London Metal Exchange Week to advance joint mining, processing, and recycling projects. The association includes the United States, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Its goal is to promote public and private investment in “secure and responsible global supply chains for critical minerals” needed for the energy transition. The partners strive to meet high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards.

MSP members were joined by representatives from emerging resource-rich countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and South Africa, as well as from the private sector and financial institutions. The meeting was chaired by Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Business and Trade of the United Kingdom, and Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth and Environment.

Raw Materials Partners See Remarkable Progress

In a joint statement, the MSP reaffirmed its commitment to 17 projects, including five in the Americas, seven in Africa, three in Europe, and two in Asia Pacific. “Remarkable milestones” have been achieved so far at the Chvaletice manganese project in the Czech Republic, for example. The reprocessing of manganese from mine waste will support the transition to a circular economy and contribute to site remediation. The producer of the raw material will be the Canadian company Euro Manganese. The project involves the EU and Canada, linked by a bilateral raw materials partnership and their cooperation in the MSP. Financial support comes from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Also highlighted was the Townsville Energy Chemical Hub (TECH) project by Australian company Queensland Pacific Metals. The aim is to build nickel processing capacity in northern Australia. Offtake agreements have been signed with partners such as General Motors in the USA, LG Energy Solution, and POSCO in Korea.

Both manganese and nickel are needed for electric vehicle batteries. Other MSP projects also focus on battery raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, and rare earths, frequently used in traction motors for electric cars.

Obstacles to domestic raw materials mining: Another topic at the London Metal Exchange Week was the EU’s European Critical Raw Materials Act, which aims to cover the continent’s raw materials supply through more domestic mining, among other things. However, there are lengthy approval procedures and often resistance from the local population.

Photo: iStock/Maksim Safaniuk

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