Europe relies on foreign raw materials to power its green and digital future. Now it wants to mine them at home – by David Meyer (Fortune Magazine – September 3, 2020)

https://fortune.com/

The European Union is keen to boost its green and digital ambitions, making them central to its coronavirus recovery plans. But there’s one big problem: raw materials.

Those rare-earth elements needed for the magnets in electric vehicles and wind turbines? Some 98% of the EU’s supply comes from China. South Africa provides 84% of the platinum group metals needed for fuel cells and automotive catalysts.

And Europe’s supplies of lithium—critical for battery production and therefore for electric vehicles and renewable-energy storage—come mostly from Chile.

So, on Thursday, the European Commission set out a plan for diversifying its supplies, while also hopefully improving conditions in the mining of these raw materials.

“A secure and sustainable supply of raw materials is a prerequisite for a resilient economy,” said EC Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in a statement. “For e-car batteries and energy storage alone, Europe will for instance need up to 18 times more lithium by 2030 and up to 60 times more by 2050.”

For the rest of this article: https://fortune.com/2020/09/03/europe-raw-materials-green-power-digital-eu-electric-vehicles-mining/

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