China News Agency, Brussels, September 3 (Reporter De Yongjian) The EU updated its list of key raw materials on the 3rd, including rare earths and other 30 raw materials with significant economic and strategic value, and announced an action plan to expand its supplier network. Reduce dependence on supplies from third countries.
According to the announcement issued by the European Commission on the same day, the "listed" raw materials include the frequently mentioned "tri-rare minerals", namely rare earths (light rare earths and heavy rare earths), niobium, tantalum, beryllium, hafnium, lithium, strontium and other rare metals, Scattered elements such as indium, gallium, germanium, titanium, cobalt, phosphorous, coking coal, natural graphite, natural rubber, bauxite, etc. are also among them. The announcement stated that these raw materials have significant economic value and contain supply risks, and are related to EU industries. Layout and investment in research and development.
Since 2011, the EU has updated the list of key raw materials every three years.
Compared with the list updated in September 2017 (a total of 27 raw materials), the updated list on the 3rd removed helium, retained the remaining 26 raw materials, and added four new raw materials: lithium, strontium, titanium, and bauxite.
It is noteworthy that lithium, which has become more and more important in recent years, "on the list" for the first time.
Due to its wide application in atomic energy, special alloys, special glass, new energy batteries, especially lithium batteries, lithium is called "the energy metal of the 21st century" and has become an essential raw material for high-tech emerging industries and a routine required by people’s lives. Raw materials.
The announcement also stated that many of the "listed" raw materials are highly concentrated. For example, China currently bears 98% of the EU's rare earth supply, Turkey bears 98% of the EU's borate supply, and South Africa bears 71% of the EU's platinum supply. As well as the supply of platinum group metals with a higher proportion, the supply of hafnium and strontium, which are rare metals, is mainly borne by individual companies.
In order to expand the supplier network, the European Commission has also announced the "Key Raw Material Action Plan" and plans to take 10 specific measures, including the European Commission will soon establish a "Raw Material Alliance" to convene all parties to discuss how to strengthen the EU's value chain in the rare earth magnet industry In the toughness.
In addition, the European Union plans to develop an "international strategic partnership". It plans to cooperate with Canada, relevant African countries, and neighboring countries of EU member states in 2021 to promote the sustainable development of the local mining industry and assume social responsibilities, so as to meet the EU’s lack of raw materials. demand.
The announcement quoted the Vice President of the European Commission Sevčovic as saying that the safe and sustainable supply of key raw materials is a prerequisite for the EU’s economic recovery. For example, only electric car batteries and energy storage devices will help the EU’s lithium demand by 2030. By 18 times, by 2050, it will be boosted by 60 times. Coupled with the destruction of the EU's strategic value chain by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the EU needs to establish a "strong alliance" to ensure the supply of key raw materials.
Statistics show that since the launch of the list in 2011, the “key raw materials” delineated by the EU have been increasing.
There were 14 key raw materials on the list in 2011, 20 in 2014, 27 in 2017, and 30 on the 3rd.