S. Korea to beef up critical metals stockpile – by Kim Byung-wook (Korea Herald – August 5, 2021)


South Korea will drastically increase its strategic stockpiles of nickel, cobalt and other critical metals, in a bid to ensure a stable supply of raw materials vital to key industries including electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy, the government said Thursday.

National stockpiles of 35 rare metals — designated by the government — will increase to cover 100 days from the current 57 days, it said. New facilities will be built while some existing ones will be expanded and the state-run Korea Resources Corp. will oversee the overall management.

It is part of a set of measures announced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, after a pangovernmental emergency economic meeting presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

At the meeting, Hong expressed concern over a potential “weaponization” of rare metals, the majority of which Korea imports from overseas.“While demand is growing fast for rare metals in line with the advancement of new industries and a carbon neutrality drive, global supply is dependent on a few countries,” the minister said.

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