PGMs and Critical Raw Materials
Why are PGMs on the list of Critical Raw Materials?
PGMs feature on the European Union list of materials "at risk" (Critical Raw Materials") largely because of the geographically concentrated supply from regions outside the EU (South Africa and Russia). It should be mentioned that the main focus of the Critical Raw Materials methodology lies on supply risk and economic importance, not on physical scarcity or on oversupply.
What are Critical Raw Materials?
Raw materials are fundamental to Europe's economy, and they are essential for maintaining and improving our quality of life. Recent years have seen a rapid growth in the number of materials used across products. Securing reliable and undistorted access of certain raw materials is of growing concern within the EU and across the globe. Critical raw materials have a high economic importance to the EU combined with a high risk associated with their supply. They are the most important materials in terms of competitiveness of the European industry due to their unique properties.
Are PGMs really a Critical Raw Material?
Huge efforts of research and development in academic and industrial research laboratories have been directed towards the development of innovative material solutions that can reduce the use of PGMs in high-tech applications. Currently, only the strategies of Reduction and Recycling have the potential to mitigate the risks resulting from the primary production concentration outside the EU. The potential of the strategy Substitution, however, can be considered extremely slight.
What is the EU's Raw Materials Initiative?
More information on the EUs Raw Materials Initiative can be found here.