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European Commission publishes list of critical raw materials

25 June, 2014

The European Commission has published a list of 20 raw materials that are critical to Europe’s economy, including gallium, indium and heavy rare earth elements. The list will help set the priorities for mining and recycling activities, support trade agreements and promote research and innovation. Companies dealing with these raw materials will also find the information useful.

 

Raw materials are a fundamental part of most industry sectors and everyday life. A material is deemed critical when it is important to the economy and has a high supply risk. Economic importance depends on whether the material is associated with key industrial sectors, while supply risk can be associated with low recycling rates, production that is concentrated in only a few countries or there is a lack of suitable substitutes.

 

The list of critical raw materials was issued along with the Commission’s 2nd progress report on the implementation of the EU Raw Materials Initiative. The Initiative was launched in 2008 to support the sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources and ensure a level playing field in access to resources in third countries.

 

The Commission has committed to review and update the list at least every three years. The next revision is scheduled to start in 2016 and the findings will be disseminated to Member States, manufacturers, designers and waste processors.

 

Original article