The EU mineral raw materials industry is the base for other EU industries. It contributes to securing the supply of metals and minerals, some of them identified as critical and strategic for the value chains required for the European economy and its transition to a low carbon economy.
As Peter Handley from the European Commission highlighted for Euronews: ‘At the moment, there’s a global race for the raw materials that will be needed for clean technologies. Europe runs the risk of missing the boat, so we need to act faster and in a much more joined up way than we have in the past. Otherwise, we will not get the raw materials that we need to drive our green and digital transition, but we’re confident it can be done.’ So, the principles of the Raw Materials Initiative, published in 2018 and based in a good balance between the external, domestic and recycling pillars for assure a secure supply of mineral raw materials to the European industry and society, are more valid than ever.
Watch more on Euronews: Green future: how will Europe power its low-carbon economy?(link is external)
We have become dependent on highly specialised metals and alloys that require a vast array of minerals and metals. Some are relatively rare metals, yet essential in the manufacturing of advanced technological products crucial for becoming climate-neutral by 2050. In order to create some of these products, mineral raw materials need to undergo a transformation from the mining industry into a wide variety of other industries throughout Europe.
The current situation clearly shows that the overall European economy’s dependence on mineral raw materials from China is a threat to Europe’s economy. We would like to highlight that Europe isn’t poor in mineral resources, has its own ones, including critical raw materials, world-class deposits and still a huge mineral potential. By increasing domestic mineral production, Europe becomes less dependent and improves its sustainable supply chain. Besides from importing and recycling, to strengthen our resilience and our strategic autonomy, we will therefore also in the future have to foster mineral raw materials “mined in Europe”.