On 26 May 2014, the European Commission published a Communication on ‘the review of the list of critical raw materials for the EU and the implementation of the Raw Materials Initiative’. According to the document, a new key priority is to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials within the EU, especially as regards framework conditions for mining and improving the raw materials knowledge base.
The CRM list contains 20 critical materials (antimony, beryllium, borates, chromium, cobalt, coking coal, fluorspar, gallium, germanium, indium, magnesite, magnesium, natural graphite, niobium, PGMs, phosphate rock, heavy REEs, light REEs, silicon metal and tungsten).
The next expected steps by the European Commission are:
– Setting up a pan-European knowledge base of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials by 2020
– Preparing an issues paper on seabed mining by the beginning of 2015
– Communication on the European Innovation Partnership (EIP)
– Annual high-level conference on the EIP in the autumn in Italy where a number of key ‘raw materials commitments’ will be presented
– Start preparing for the next strategic programming phase for research in 2014 covering 2016-2018
– Selection process for a Knowledge and Innovation Community on raw materials with a call running until 10 September 2014
– Final meeting of the European Rare Earth Competency Network project at the end of 2014
– During 2014 further raw materials diplomacy events to take place (Greenland, African Union, USA, Canada, etc)
– Trade negotiations with a special emphasis on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States
– To boost resource efficiency and increase the amount of recycling, highest priority in 2014 is on the waste policy review
Access the Commission website for Enterprise and Industry for further information.