Europe’s plan to safeguard supplies of raw materials

Green technologies will force up imports of rare earths (photo:dpa)
Green technologies will force up imports of rare earths (photo:dpa)

Many industries within the European Union rely heavily on raw materials, particularly rare earth elements. But in recent years there has been growing concern over supplies to meet its needs, particularly as many of its suppliers either come from China, which has imposed export restrictions, or from fragile or politically unstable regions of the world.

THE EU is highly dependent on imported raw materials to supply its industry - its imports of raw materials are the highest in the world - and accounted for about 10 per cent of its non-energy imports in 2008 with a market value of US$1.7 trillion (1.3 trillion euros).

The EU is self-sufficient in cons...

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