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Mining and Raw Materials

Germany, EU Strive for Greater Materials Autonomy

The European Union has new statutes aimed at ensuring European access to crucial raw materials – and a company in Germany has reached an encouraging milestone.

In future sourcing will be governed by the Critical Raw Materials Act, which was passed by the Council of the European Union in mid-March. It sets benchmarks for EU’s consumption of 34 critical and 17 strategic raw materials.

Under the legislation, 10 percent of materials are to come from local extraction. 40 percent must be processed in the EU, and 25 percent have to come from recycled materials. The law also sets maximum periods in which extraction, recycling and processing permits must be issued.

“This legislative act will boost our mining sector, enhance our recycling and processing capacities, create local and good quality jobs, and ensure that our industry is up and ready for the digital and green transitions,” said Jo Brouns, Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy and Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Australian-German company Vulcan Energy has succeeded in producing lithium, one of the raw materials on the EU lists, in the southwestern German town of Landau.

The company’s aim, according to Vulcan Energy CEO Chris Moreno, is to produce “lithium from Europe for Europe.”

Vulcan hopes to scale up its production to commercial dimensions in the near future.


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