How China’s mines rule the market of critical raw materials

DM

The European Union has identified 30 raw materials as critical for industry. Their supply is endangered by conflicts, a weak rule of law and trade monopolies. And one nation controls more than all others. The European Union has identified 30 such resources — which cannot currently be substituted — as crucial for the defense and renewables sectors, as well as in the manufacture of robotics, drones and batteries. Unlike steel, cement and oil, the global production of many critical raw materials amounts to just a few thousand tons per year. And it is controlled by only a handful of countries. Though not readily available across the globe, there are several critical resources hot spots. South Africa’s north has reserves of platinum and vanadium, while Congo is home to cobalt deposits and the United States extracts beryllium. China, meanwhile, has mining access to two-thirds of the different 30 critical raw materials, including antimony, baryte and rare earth elements.

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