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Critical raw material substitutes

Critical raw materials are minerals that:

  • Have high supply risk due to high concentrations in specific countries
  • Are vital for key sectors in the economy
  • Do not have economically viable substitutes

These elements are not “critical” due to low supply available in nature. Because of supply restrictions and demand pressures, dependence on critical raw materials is a form of linear risk and should be addressed in a company’s planning and projections. Common critical raw materials include the following elements (based on the European Commission’s list):

Antimony

Fluorspar

Natural Graphite

Rare earth metals (Heavy)

Beryllium

Gallium

Niobium

Borates

Germanium

Phosphate Rock

Rare earth metals (Light)

Chromium

Indium

Silicon Metal

Cobalt

Magnesite

Tungsten

Platinum group metals

Cooking coal

Magnesium

 

Economic sectors that rely heavily on critical raw materials include automotive, metals, consumer electronics, renewable energy and medical devices. Each country will have variations in the critical raw materials list depending on their economic dependence on the supply of those minerals.

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