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France, Germany, Italy agree to strengthen cooperation on critical raw materials supply

Highlights

Will intensify coordination at project level

Agree to propose inclusion of aluminum as 'strategic' and 'critical' under CRMA

Will establish working group to implement initiatives

  • Author
  • Euan Sadden
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Commodity
  • Metals

Ministers from France, Germany and Italy have announced that their countries will strengthen cooperation to ensure access to critical raw materials, in a joint statement released June 26.

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The statement followed a meeting between German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck, French Minister for Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire, and Italian Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso, in Berlin on June 26.

According to the statement, the three ministers agreed to coordinate their proposals in the area of critical raw materials and to establish common positions regarding amendments to the EU's proposed Critical Raw Material Act.

On the CRMA negotiations, the three countries called for a swift conclusion to the discussions while reiterating their support for an "ambitious text" that includes incentives to promote the reuse and recycling of strategic and critical raw materials and ambitious environmental, social and governance criteria.

The three countries also called for an expansion of the CRMA's lists of raw materials considered "strategic" and "critical" to include aluminium.

"To secure the entire supply chain, from mining to processing and recycling, the three ministers agreed to intensify their cooperation at the project level, exchanging data and sharing support criteria," the joint statement said.

In addition, the ministers agreed to set up a working group of experts from their respective administrations to follow up on these initiatives and ensure their successful implementation.

The three leaders also announced they would hold follow-up meetings in Rome in October and later in Paris, to continue their discussions.

On March 16, the European Commission published long-awaited proposals for its CRMA, designed to ensure EU access "to a secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of raw materials" for energy transition in sectors including the net-zero and digital industries, aerospace and defense.

CRMA proposals included a regulation stipulating that by 2030 EU domestic capacities along the strategic raw material supply chain must supply at least 10% of EU annual consumption of extracted or mined strategic material; at least 40% of EU annual consumption of processed strategic materials; and at least 15% of the EU's annual consumption of recycled strategic materials.

Discussions regarding amendments to the draft CRMA are ongoing, with the final legislation expected to be published in July.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide at $43,700/mt CIF North Asia and $47,000/mt CIF North Asia June 26, down 41% and 42%, respectively, since the start of the year.