A collective of raw materials and clean technology producers, alongside defence and aerospace manufacturers, recently made an appeal to policymakers asking for aluminium to be added to the Strategic Raw Materials list under the Critical Raw Materials Act.
Their request reflects growing concerns regarding the raw materials supply chain. Recent events, such as difficulties sustaining magnesium supplies and potential export limits on metals like gallium and germanium, show the fragility of the current metals supply chain. Experts expect that aluminium might be the next metal to face similar challenges. This is a significant concern as global demand for aluminium is growing.
The demand for aluminium continues to increase because of its role in a wide range of products and technologies such as electric cars, solar panels, and defense tech. If aluminium supplies become difficult to obtain, these industries, and many more, could face challenges. Adding to the concern is the fact that two-thirds of the world’s aluminium production isn’t in open market economies. Instead, it’s controlled by economies where governments allocate resources.
“As negotiations advance, we call on policymakers to formally recognise the strategic nature of aluminium, as already acknowledged by the European Commission in its impact assessment accompanying the CRM proposal as well as other supporting studies.”
The group emphasizes that the EU needs to have a multi-faceted approach to producing aluminium, both in ensuring continued supply and in producing it in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. The European Commission has previously noted aluminium’s importance, noting that local production or recycling of aluminium with fewer CO2 emissions would be a step in the right direction.
Focusing on local production and recycling can also mean fewer imports, more jobs for Europeans, and progress towards environmental goals, noted the organization. Also, for Europe to meet its goals for tackling climate change and leading in green tech, a strong industrial foundation is key.
Source: aluminium insider