WHAT ARE CRITICAL RAW MATERIALS? (CRMs)
Raw materials are crucial to Europe’s economy and essential to maintaining and improving our quality of life. Securing reliable and unhindered access to certain raw materials is a growing concern within the EU and across the globe. To address this challenge, the European Commission has created a list of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). CRMs combine a high economic importance to the EU with a high risk associated with their supply. Examples of CRMs include rare earth elements, cobalt and niobium.
Periodically, the European Commission publishes a list of CRMs based on a criticality assessment at EU level on a wide range of raw materials. The first list, published in 2010, contained 14 CRMs. The revised list published in 2014 included additional CRMs reaching a total of 20 CRMS. The 2017 list reached 27 materials.
In 2020 Bauxite, lithium, titanium and strontium are added to the list for the first time. Helium remains a concern as far as supply concentration is concerned, but is removed from the 2020 critical list due to a decline in its economic importance. The Commission will continue to monitor helium closely, in view of its relevance for a range of emerging digital applications. It will also monitor nickel closely, in view of developments relating to growth in demand for battery raw materials.
The list of CRMs should help:
CRM TABLE 2020
|Heavy Rare Earth Elements
|Light Rare Earth Elements
|Platinum Group Metals
Determining the criticality of a given material relies on the quality and the comprehensiveness of the data to be used in the calculation of both the supply risk and the economic importance. Collecting and analysing these data and assessing their quality is a huge and complex work, in particular in a context where more and more raw materials are used in advanced technologies and where these new technologies arrive faster and faster on the market and are sometimes replaced by a new one even faster. The work requires more and more effort and requires a wider and wider range of expertise along the value chain from the mine to the final products and increasingly to recycling; too broad to be adequately covered by a single organization.
In this context, SCRREEN2 will…
provide expert advice in support of decision-making at the EU level covering all the raw materials and their value chains screened in the CRM 2020 assessment exercise
contribute to improving EU official statistics and to further building the EU knowledge base on primary and secondary raw materials in close connection with the EC’s Raw Materials Information System – RMIS
SCRREEN2 is built on the basis of SCRREEN but is reshaped to answer the new challenges
SCRREEN network already supported DG-GROW and EC JRC in the 2020 criticality assessment exercise
the direct involvement of EIT RM (including the International Round Table on materials Criticality), EC JRC, EGS, INTRAW, REIA and PROMETIA will highly contribute significantly to the success of the project
SCRREEN2 Network will collect and analyse data in order to keep updated the EU Factsheets related to all raw materials screened in the CRM assessment of 2020 (83 materials)
in parallel, the Network will support the Commission in the foresight analysis of the future supply and demand of raw materials, policy and technology gaps and innovation potential along the raw materials value chains by editing every year at least 2 outlook reports