Europe Joins Scramble for Critical Minerals

Precious minerals have become very crucial that every miner is not taking chances. Some continents like Europe have realized that they are running out of these precious minerals. Furthermore, Europe is also facing competition from low-cost minerals from China. The situation is putting Europe at a critical stage as it has to struggle and recover its sustainable minerals.

However, for this to happen, Europe will have to produce many of these minerals that the region does not have. This has forced the European Union to follow the U.S. and Japan’s footsteps to build its metallic supply. It is predicted that these precious metals will also play a vital role in determining the global economic order.

Europe’s Important Minerals

Like the U.S., Europe’s crucial minerals comprise some of the least known minerals, such as scandium, hafnium, and beryllium. Other minerals such as titanium, lithium, bauxite, and strontium have been added to the list of those critical minerals. Helium has been removed from the crucial minerals due to a drop in its economic value. Nickel, too, has not been added to the list but is being closely monitored.

Titanium and aluminum have also been subjected to national security investigations in the U.S. This has led to the introduction of some excise duty upon their supplier countries. Aluminum has also been identified by the World Bank as the main metal to help in achieving higher demands of renewable energy. However, it may be difficult to accomplish this as Europe’s aluminum production has been steadily declining since 2008.

Strontium has found itself among the crucial minerals because the whole of Europe depends on one European country for the supply of this metal. The metal is vital as it is used in the manufacture of robotics and ceramic magnets.

Lithium is not excluded from the list as it plays an important role in the manufacture of electric car batteries. It is considered crucial as it is one of the pillars in helping curb the spread of carbon in the atmosphere. The European Battery Alliance has also given the metal prominence, and most European industries also rely on it for their industrial ecosystem.

Areas of Importance

Europe’s minerals can be largely traced across the Atlantic. However, building a mineral supply from scratch will be a difficult task. For instance, 80% of the supply of lithium for car batteries must just come from Europe. However, this is a very aggressive target as refining lithium into its chemical form to make the batteries requires technical knowledge. The experts can only be found in China and Asia, hence putting Europe at crossroads.

Additionally, Europe will have to collaborate with other processers that offer friendly prices, such as Australia and Canada. The EU is also planning to integrate Ukraine and Norway and the Western Balkans into EU supply chains. Having a concrete partnership with other developing countries that are rich in minerals will also be essential. The only remaining thing is to see where Europe will invest its cash as it is on the verge of expanding its area of influence.

Competition from China

As china is dominating in the processing of minerals such as lithium and aluminum, it will force the EU to shift their supply chains away from China. Additionally, the EU will also have to defend their domestic producers from Chinese producers operating in parallel.

Furthermore, European production must be protected from unfair competition from the global market. Europe should also take other precautions, like investigating the imports of aluminum and other products to survive in the worldwide market.

This growing realization of how important the mining sector can be is most likely music to the ears of companies like Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) since governments now appreciate the role they play in national development.

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