Access to non-European raw materials

Of course, the access to raw materials from other parts of the world is seen as equally important and here in particular the EU wishes to ensure that environment, health and safety aspects of the extraction and processing of the raw materials will be assured.

Hence the debate is not just about easy, cheap access by eliminating trade and export restrictions from certain countries, but about ensuring the access to “sustainably produced” raw materials.

In this context, the EU is undertaking new cooperation with raw material rich countries in Africa and Latin America.

EU-Africa cooperation on Raw Materials:

EU-AU Joint Session on Infrastructure for the Raw Materials Sector

Crans Montana Forum on Africa & South-South Cooperation

EU-Chile, Brazil, Argentina cooperation

Did you know?

  • There are over 450 export restrictions on more than 400 different raw materials (e.g. metals).
  • For many essential raw materials extraction is concentrated in a limited number of countries. China produces 95% of all rare earth concentrates (needed for hand-held consumer electronics, LCD’s, high performance magnets), Brazil 90% of all niobium (needed for steel alloys in gas pipelines, super alloys in high performance jet aircrafts) and South Africa produces 79% of all rhodium (needed for car catalysts).
  • Important raw materials sources are increasingly located in parts of the world which lack political and economic stability. Over 50% of major reserves are located in countries with a per capita gross national income $10 per day or less.