CRITICAL RAW MATERIALS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     18th September 2023        
output themes

Context: The European Parliament has approved the Critical Raw Materials Act to diversify its import dependence and domestic production.

Key Points

  • The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc, aims to reduce its dependence on China and increase its domestic capacity.

oChina is the largest producer of many of the world's critical minerals.

  • Metals and critical minerals are crucial for the green transition as they are used to manufacture solar panels, windmills, and electric car batteries.
  • Dependency: The EU was 99% dependent on China for rare earth metals (REE).
  • Aim of Act: To “diversify the Union’s imports of strategic raw materials with a view to ensure that, by 2030.
  • Diversification: Australia and Chile with huge reserves such as cobalt, lithium, and manganese are potential strategic partners for diversifying the supply chain.

Critical Raw Materials

  • About: Critical minerals are a cluster of minerals crucial for diverse industrial sectors, carrying significant economic and security implications for a nation.
  • Found: Earth’s crust
  • Examples: Rare earth elements, lithium, cobalt, graphite, platinum group metals, and certain minerals and metals