South Korea to Assume One-Year Lead of the Minerals Security Partnership

by | 28. Jun 2024 - 09:16 | Politics

The MSP is a transnational association aimed at bolstering supply chains of critical minerals.

South Korea is set to lead the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) starting Monday after receiving unanimous support from the member states. The MSP is a U.S.-initiated, multilateral association launched in 2022 to strengthen supply chains of critical minerals, comprising 14 states and the European Union as members. The initiative seeks to connect industry nations with resource-rich nations. The United States, the current head of MSP, welcomed South Korea’s initiative in taking over as the MSP chair, praising the Asian country’s efforts and leadership in the field of critical minerals. South Korea will hold the lead for one year.

Under the MSP, the U.S. and South Korea have already initiated multiple projects together, including exploring rare earth projects in Vietnam, a country with considerable, mostly untapped rare earth resources.

Besides working together under the MSP, the U.S. and South Korea also seek closer cooperation on other supply chains and export controls. According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korean Industry Minister Ahn Duk-geun and his U.S. counterpart, Gina Raimondo, met in Washington this week during the Supply Chain Commercial Dialogue (SCCD) to discuss continuing collaboration, among other things.

More on South Korea’s quest for critical minerals: The Asian country is home to a resource-hungry high-tech industry but lacks its own deposits of critical minerals. Thus, it depends heavily on imports, especially from China. In recent months, the Asian country has ramped up efforts to diversify its supply chains. Last month, the first Africa-Korea Summit was held in Seoul. Following the summit, President Yoon Suk Yeol inaugurated the K-Silk Road initiative during travel to Central Asia.

Photo: iStock/Jae Young Ju

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