7 July 2022

IOM3 responds to news of the UK’s first Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre

IOM3 has commented on the UK’s first-ever centre to collect and analyse information on the supply of critical minerals to help build a more resilient economy.

 

Officially launched by the then Industry Minister Lee Rowley on Monday 4 July and based in Nottingham, the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC) will improve the resilience of the UK’s critical mineral supply chain by providing policymakers with up-to-date data and analysis on supply, demand, and market dynamics. This data will then be used to develop evidence-based policies aimed at developing critical mineral supply chains to the UK.

The Centre builds on work by the Critical Minerals Expert Group, set up by the government last year, to harness the UK’s expert knowledge on critical minerals. One important function of the CMIC will be to provide 'criticality assessments', which review the criticality of minerals for the UK. Neil Glover FREng CEng FIMMM, IOM3 President and members sat on the government’s critical minerals expert committee, to leverage the UK’s extensive research expertise for the development of a Critical Minerals Strategy.

IOM3 CEO Dr Colin Church FIMMM, said, ‘It’s encouraging to see the government make steps towards taking the strategic view on critical raw materials that IOM3 has been calling for and in advance of seeing the full strategy soon. We look forward to working with CMIC and being able to contribute to evidence-based policies that will play a crucial part in the future economic viability of the UK, especially in achieving net-zero by 2050.’

Critical minerals are essential for manufacturing products that are required for green technologies, national security, and daily life – such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, mobile phones and fighter jets. With the production of some critical minerals expected to increase by nearly 500% by 2050, it is essential the UK implements resilient and sustainable supply chains.

As its first major milestone, the CMIC has published a study on future UK demand and supply of lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite for electric vehicle batteries. The government has promised to publish a UK Critical Minerals Strategy later in 2022, setting out its approach to bolstering the resilience of our critical mineral supply chains.

 
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