14 March 2023

IOM3 to work with UK government on domestic critical mineral supply chains

The Institute will investigate the skills required to support these supply chains which will precede a programme of public engagement by the UK Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre.

In July 2022, government published a Critical Minerals Strategy, setting out its approach to accelerating the UK's domestic capabilities, collaborating with international partners and enhancing international markets.

Yesterday (13 March), the updated policy paper Critical Minerals Refresh: Delivering Resilience in a Changing Global Environment set out a refreshed approach to delivering critical mineral supply chains and aims to outline how to secure a long-term supply for UK industry.

IOM3 CEO Dr Colin Church FIMMM, commented, ‘Ensuring the UK has access to the right materials to support its future development is hugely important, and making sure the right skills are available is key. As part of that work, IOM3 is delighted to be working with key stakeholders to develop a better understanding of the skills needs for minerals and mining in the UK’s supply chains’.

Key announcements from the policy paper include:

  • The Refresh sets out how government is delivering the strategy for UK businesses, in light of a changing global landscape and the sharpening of geopolitical competition.
  • Government is launching an independent Task & Finish Group on Critical Minerals Resilience for UK Industry to investigate the critical mineral dependencies and vulnerabilities across UK industry sectors and opportunities for industry to promote resilience in its supply chains.
  • Government is accelerating its collaboration on critical minerals with international partners, including recent partnerships agreed with Canada and South Africa and engagement through the Minerals Security Partnership, International Energy Agency and G7.
  • UK Research and Innovation's Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains (CLIMATES) fund launched with an initial £1m in current spending window to focus on making the UK's Rare Earth Element supply chains more resilient and boost the circular economy.
  • A £65.5m Accelerate-to-Demonstrate (A2D) Facility, under the umbrella Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) platform through the £1bl Ayrton Fund commitment, includes a dedicated funding pillar on technology innovations for critical minerals in developing countries.

Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, said, 'I have launched an independent Task & Finish Group on Critical Minerals Resilience for UK Industry, which will find out which - and how much - critical minerals UK industry needs now and in future, what risks they face and how businesses can promote resilience in their critical mineral supply chains. The Group will produce an independent report at the end of 2023'.


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