4 March 2024

UK Government responds to critical minerals Task & Finish Group

The UK government has published its response to the report of the Task and Finish Group on Critical Mineral Resilience for UK Industry.

© Photo by Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

The Department for Business & Trade has warmly welcomed the Task and Finish Group’s report on industry resilience for critical minerals and has set out a summary of the government’s position in response to the report’s findings and recommendations. 

The response recognises that while UK industries have direct dependency on critical minerals, much of the dependence is indirect. Often, manufacturers depend on intermediate materials, components or end products that contain critical materials. 

In response to the seven overarching recommendations set out in the report, government includes commitments to: 

  • Consider new supportive policy proposals recognising the UK is a strategic location for midstream processing.
  • Continue working with industries to support supply resilience and diversification. 
  • Continue to build international trade and partnerships to support supply security.  
  • Continue to work with businesses and international partners to tackle the myriad environmental, social and governance risks in critical mineral supply chains.

Nusrat Ghani MP Minister for Industry and Economic Security at the Department for Business & Trade, said ‘As part of the 2023 Critical Minerals Refresh, I launched this Task and Finish Group on Industry Resilience for Critical Minerals to give their insights on the dependencies UK industries have on global critical mineral supply chains, and how that will evolve in future. I warmly welcome their findings and would like to thank Katherine Bennett, Colin Church, and all the members for sharing their knowledge and expertise. I also share the group’s desire to act in a joined-up way across government and industry.’

IOM3 CEO and Vice-Chair of the Task and Finish Group Dr Colin Church CEnv FIMMM, said ‘It is good to see the report and its recommendations being welcomed by government and valuable insights from UK industry helping to shape policy development. As highlighted in the government’s response, the report offers insight about the critical materials dependencies for difference sectors which can help businesses to understand vulnerabilities and mitigate risks in their supply chains. 

The response sets out a number of commitments that will help to build on the UK’s existing competitive advantage and through working with industry and international partners, move towards supplies that are more responsible and less vulnerable to disruption.

IOM3 looks forward to the Critical Minerals Strategy delivery update due to be published in the summer of this year and continuing engagement with government and stakeholders on this important agenda.’

The Task and Finish Group submitted its report to government in December 2023 and highlighted critical raw material dependencies across: 

  • aerospace and defence (cobalt, tantalum, gallium)
  • automotive (lithium, graphite, gallium)
  • chemicals (silicon, cobalt, graphite)
  • electronics (silicon, germanium, gallium)
  • energy (zinc, boron, rare earth elements)
  • medical technologies (cobalt, tungsten, silicon)

View UK government response to Task and Finish Group report 

View Task and Finish Group’s report on industry resilience for critical minerals