Driver of metal/material usage
Industrial production efficiency and infrastructure development
Fe, Cr, V, Mo, Ni, Co, Mn
PGE (Pt, Pd)
Low-emissions energey production
Wind turbines??? permanent magnets
REE (Nd, Dy, Sm, Pr)
In, Sb, Ga, Te, Ag, Cu, Se
U, Th, Zr
Low-emissions energy usage
REE (La, Ce, Nd, Pr), Li, Ni, Co, Mn, graphite
REE (Nd, Dy, Sm, Pr)
Electric cars-fuel cells
Ai, Mg, Ti
Communications and entertainment technologies
Micro-capacitors-mobile phones etc
Ta, Nb, Sb
Fibre optics and infra-red
Armour and weapons
Be, W, Cr, V
Re, Nb, Ni, Mo
Light alloys Superalloys (hight temperature performance e.g. in jet engine turbines) High speed trains-magnets
Al, Mg, Ti, Sc, Th, Re, Nb, Ni, Mo, Co, Sm
Transport-fuel efficiency & performace
PGE, Cr, Ti
Water & food security
Phosphate rock; potash, Mg
Evion Group (ASX : EVG) is targeting the ethical production and low risk supply of critical commodities.
Australia considers the availability of metal, non-metal and mineral raw materials (commodities) vital for the on-going development of a wide range of industries globally, including those involved in high-technology goods manufacturing as per Table 1 below.
In addition to Australia, several countries or groups of countries have developed 'risk lists' of commodities that are considered to be 'critical' including the European Union, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The level of criticality of a commodity reflects the combination of risk of supply and the importance of the particular commodity from predominantly an economic perspective.
For example, highly critical commodities have both high risk of supply and high level of importance to a particular nation's economy. Supply risks are in turn influenced by several factors including:
- Geological scarcity
- The geopolitical stability of supplier countries
- The level of concentration of resources, production and processing within particular countries or by individual companies
- Method of recovery (e.g., as a by-product of a major commodity)
- Trade policies
Bolded elements are detailed in Geoscience Australia's 2013 publication "Critical Commodities for a high-tech world: Australia's potential to supply global demand." Ag = silver, Al = aluminium; Be = beryllium; Ce = cerium; Co = cobalt; Cr = chromium; Cu = copper; Dy = dysprosium; Fe = iron; Ga = gallium; Ge = germanium; He = helium; In = indium; La = lanthanum; Li = lithium; Mg = magnesium; Mn = manganese; Mo = molybdenum; Nb = niobium; Nd = neodymium; Ni = nickel; Pd = palldium; PGE = plantium group elements; Pr = praseodymium; Pt = platinum; Re = rhenium; REE = rare earth elements; Sb = antimony; Sc = scandium; Se = selenium; Sm = samarium; Ta = tantalum; Te = tellurium; Th = thorium; Ti = titanium; U = uranium; V = vanadium; W = tungsten; Y = yttrium; Zr = zirconium.
Source: Geoscience Australia.
The European Union also considers raw materials crucial to the region’s economy, as they form a strong industrial base, producing a broad range of goods and applications used in everyday life and modern technologies. Reliable and unhindered access to certain raw materials is a growing concern within Europe, and across the globe.
To address this challenge, the European Commission has created a list of critical raw materials (CRMs) for the EU, which is subject to a regular review and update. CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply.
Similarly to Australia and the Europe Union, the United States has also developed a list of critical commodities, as the country is 100% import reliant on 14 minerals on the critical minerals list (aside from a small amount of recycling).
These minerals are important inputs into the U.S. economy and national security applications and include graphite, manganese, niobium, rare earths, and tantalum, among others.