Critical Raw Materials: South Korea Wants to Become Less Dependent

by | 28. Feb 2023 - 13:55 | Politics

Government plans to strengthen supply chains and increase recycling.

South Korea wants to improve its supply of critical minerals and reduce its dependence on imports, especially from China. A strategy for this plan was announced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) on Tuesday.

The government has identified 33 raw materials, including rare earths, lithium and nickel, as important for economic security because they are needed for the production of semiconductors, batteries and electric vehicles, for example. More recycling of raw materials and increased use of domestic mineral resources are expected to stabilize supply chains. Increasing stocks of critical minerals and developing an early warning system for supply chain risks are also planned.

Cooperation with resource-rich countries is also to be expanded, for example to enable domestic companies to enter foreign mining projects. As we reported, South Korea has already recently entered into new commodity partnerships with Vietnam, Mongolia and Australia.

The strategy aims to reduce unilateral import dependencies from the current 80 percent to 50 percent by 2030, and to increase the recycling rate from two percent to 20 percent over the same period.

Photo: iStock/kamponwarit

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