Green recovery

Meeting the green demand for critical minerals

25/04/2023 PNG

While the production and trade of most critical raw materials has expanded rapidly over the last ten years, growth is not keeping pace with projected demand for the metals and minerals needed for the green transition.

Lithium, rare earth elements, chromium, arsenic, cobalt, titanium, selenium and magnesium recorded the largest production volume expansions - ranging between 33% for magnesium and 208% for lithium - in the last decade, but this falls far short of the four- to six-fold increases in demand projected for the green transition.

At the same time, global production of some critical raw materials, such as lead, natural graphite, zinc, precious metal ores and concentrates, as well as tin, actually declined over the last decade.

The price of many critical raw materials, including aluminium and copper, have reached record highs, driven by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade tensions and the continuing consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Concentrations of exports and imports are significant for some critical raw materials, including lithium, borates, cobalt, colloidal precious metals, manganese and magnesium.

Read the paper:
Raw materials critical for the green transition