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EU releases updated critical raw materials list

critical raw materials list

A revised list of 30 critical raw materials has been revealed by the European Commission (EC), which now includes bauxite, titanium, lithium, and strontium. Dropping off the list is helium, which the EC insists remains a concern as far as supply concentration is concerned and will continue to be monitored. Since the first list was drawn up in 2008, it has been revised in 2014, and again in 2017, when an additional seven raw materials were included to take the total to 27. The EC will release its next update in three years’ time.

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While the term ‘critical raw materials’ has no universal definition, it is generally used to refer to metals and minerals which are of high economic importance to a particular industry, sector or spatial area and are at risk of supply shortage. Supply risks can be exacerbated by low substitution potential and low recycling rates.

By adding lithium, titanium, bauxite (aluminium raw material) and strontium to the critical raw materials list, the EC has recognised these commodities’ increasing strategic importance as enablers of clean technologies. Owing to their use in applications including clean mobility, renewable energy and batteries, these commodities will play a crucial role in transitioning the EU to a low-carbon, circular economy. This will be key in meeting the EC’s target to be ‘climate-neutral’ by 2050 and creating an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The target is central to the European Green Deal and in line with the EU’s commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement.

The complete list of 30 critical raw materials for 2020 is shown below.

  • Antimony
  • Barytes
  • Bauxite
  • Beryllium
  • Bismuth
  • Borate
  • Cobalt
  • Coking coal
  • Fluorspar
  • Gallium
  • Germanium
  • Hafnium
  • Heavy rare earth elements
  • Indium
  • Light rare earth elements
  • Lithium
  • Magnesium
  • Natural graphite
  • Natural rubber
  • Niobium
  • Platinum group metals
  • Phosphate rock
  • Phosphorus
  • Scandium
  • Silicon metal
  • Strontium
  • Tantalum
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten
  • Vanadium

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