Critical Raw Materials

Critical raw materials are key to the green and digital transitions as well as to other EU priorities such as EU resilience and security. They are essential components of green technologies used in digital applications and are crucial to the defence, aerospace and health industries. The Commission put forward an action plan on Critical Raw Materials (CRM) to secure a sustainable supply. The European Critical Raw Materials Act was set notably to identify strategic projects along the value chain and build up strategic reserves where supply is a risk. The initiative is based on 3 pillars:

I. Developing the critical raw materials value chain in the EU

II. Boosting the diversification of supply and partnering in a mutually beneficial manner in support of global production

III. Fostering sustainable sourcing and promoting circularity

How precious metals contribute to Critical Raw Materials Act

Precious metals are strategic and critical raw materials due to their increased demand in energy and digital transitions. Solar PV, wind turbines, hydrogen fuel cells, power cables, and digital technologies all contain precious metals. Worth noting, precious metals are used in a wide range of applications, and there is currently no technically feasible alternatives.

The EPMF Key messages

Tangible actions and speed of implementation for CRM Act

The EU precious metals sector is asking for more certainty and predictability for business projects. The provisions set up in the CRM Act should be easily achievable and not scattered in long and burdensome application processes.

The reference to consistency with other EU policies

The EPMF suggests paying special attention to this issue and, especially to the coherence with the REACH revision. The EU’s chemical legislation removes certainty for new investments in refining and recycling capacity of several strategic raw materials. The references made to Chemicals management and REACH in the CRM Act need further clarification to ensure business predictability and thorough risk management from EU chemical policy.

For more detailed information, please see the EPMF’s Position Paper on CRM Act here.

Critical Raw Materials are a key element of the EPMF Sustainability Platform.

Useful to know:

DG Growth Critical Raw Materials webpage.

Silver is well known as a precious metal, but it has many unique properties that make it useful in industrial applications:

  • highest electrical conductivity of all metals
  • high reflectivity
  • high ductility
  • high malleability
  • antibacterial properties

Silver has found applications in various technologies over time. Today, it is critical for the next generation of technological advancements, from electronics to renewable energy and electric vehicles.

The recycling of platinum contributes to a circular economy and sustainability. The recycling of platinum is an essential aspect of sustainability for the modern industry and energy sectors. Platinum is endlessly recyclable without a loss of quality.

Contact information:
Zinaida Nazarenko