The critical metals rush is on… again.

The critical metals rush is on… again.

Earlier this month, Canada and the European Union (EU) announced a new strategic partnership focused on developing critical mineral supply chains.

The announcement came out of the recent Canada-EU Leaders’ Summit, and could help Candian companies capitalize on business opportunities in the European market. 

Overwhelming reliance on Chinese rare earths, coupled with increasing geopolitical tensions, is leading to an all hands on deck approach by countries and companies around the world.

China has previously supplied 98.5% of EU rare earths elements. China has also repeatedly threatened to weaponize its monopoly. 

Not only does that make the EU — and nearly everyone else — completely dependent on Chinese supply, it also provides China an opportunity to “preview” much of the technology that is enabled by these critical metals.

The Canadian/European Union partnership follows the launch of the European Commission’s Critical Raw Materials Action Plan in September 2020. 

At a recent summit, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton cautioned that the EU is dependent on third countries for 99 products – mostly raw materials – needed for energy-intensive industries:

“It is not an enviable position to be in, but we are not alone: the US, Japan, the UK, Canada, Australia, India and others are rushing to address this vulnerability as well. I believe we are in a similar situation with rare earths and permanent magnets as we were a few years ago with batteries and lithium: Total dependence on China, very limited EU production, no European regulation to encourage ethical sourcing of rare earths, create demand for recycled materials or give a competitive advantage to European manufacturers through carbon footprint requirements, and downstream industries which benefit from the current situation in terms of cost/benefit ratio.”

Wanting to do something about establishing domestic and diversified sources of critical metals, specifically rare earths, is not new. Countries have had meetings about having meetings about doing something for a long time.

What is new this time around is there’s actually capital — both human and financial — being allocated to the effort. 

An effort that will not be easy in large part because of the self-imposed hurdles of the past that stifled projects and led to a multi-decade disadvantage when it comes to critical metals and specifically rare earths.

The EU Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials wants to work together on identifying critical raw material and rare earths mining, processing and waste projects that can be operational by 2025.  

That will be tough. 

And if it’s going to succeed — even partly — there is one company in the Junior Resource Trader portfolio with two critical metals projects in the EU that should be prioritized. 

And the company should benefit from the critical metals rush that isn’t slowing down any time soon. 

Let's get it!

Gerardo Del Real

Gerardo Del Real
Editor, Resource Stock Digest

For the past decade, Gerardo Del Real has worked behind-the-scenes providing research, due diligence and advice to large institutional players, fund managers, newsletter writers and some of the most active high net worth investors in the resource space. Now, he is bringing his extensive experience to the public through Resource Stock Digest, Junior Resource MonthlyJunior Resource Trader and Junior Resource Insider. For more about Gerardo, check out his editor page.

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