European Raw Materials Fund aims to drive diversification of raw materials supply
Lithium, rare earths and other metals: Europe is dependent on China’s raw materials exports. This is particularly evident in the expansion of renewable energies such as wind power, but above all in the field of electromobility. Imports from the People’s Republic cover around 98 percent of the demand for permanent magnets made of rare earths, which are necessary for the construction of e-cars. In order to diversify the supply of raw materials needed for the energy and transport transition and components made from them, there are plans to set up a separate European investment fund, as reported by the Reuters news agency. This could be achieved, for example, by setting up its own extraction and processing plants and closed-loop recycling systems.
Equipped with around two billion euros, the European Raw Materials Fund is to be launched at the beginning of 2023. In perspective, however, investments of more than 100 billion euros are needed to produce enough critical minerals, as Bernd Schäfer, managing director of EIT Raw Materials told Reuters. The EU-funded consortium links research and industry and covers the entire value chain of critical raw materials from exploration and extraction to recycling. It is also tasked with managing the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).