On 26 September 2017, the second bi-annual event on Critical Raw Materials took place. The event, entitled: “Critical and Strategic Materials – A Global Perspective”, gathered interested stakeholders, government representatives and EU officials to discuss the different perspectives and approaches to critical and strategic materials in the global context. The event featured two panels respectively dedicated to the European perspective and the international perspective towards critical and strategic materials.
Following a brief opening by CRM Alliance President, Martin Tauber, the newly appointed European Commission Head of Unit for Research Efficiency and Raw Materials (DG GROW), Peter Handley, outlined the latest developments on CRMs, notably the new CRM list, which Mr. Handley described as essential for a low carbon economy, for trade and for the defence industry.
The first panel session kicked-off with an in-depth presentation from Milan Grohol, Policy Officer for Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials (DG GROW) who focused on the EU’s approach to critical raw materials. The second speaker, Emmanuel Mounier, Counsellor of the French Permanent Representation to the EU, gave an overview of the French approach to critical and strategic materials while the last speaker, Kay Lax, Head of Department of the Geological Survey of Sweden, addressed Sweden’s approach towards CRMs.
The second panel session, focusing on how third countries approached critical and strategic materials, started with a presentation from Henrik Stendal, Chief Geologist of the Government of Greenland. According to Prof. Stendal, the 2008 recession had a strong impact on the mining activity in Greenland, but mining activity is starting to resume and redevelop. The second speaker, Dr. Stephen Freeman of the Beryllium Science and Technology Association, outlined the approach of the United States on critical and strategic materials. Dr. Freeman did stress that from a US industrial perspective, policies that restrict access or the use of CRMs are not in the interest of the US and it can be expected that minerals mined and processed in the US and which fall on a list of CRMs could become eligible for most-favoured status in the Trump Administration. The final speaker of the CRM Day, Mr. Sunao Orii, First Secretary, Japanese Mission to the European Union, provided a Japanese perspective on critical raw materials.