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Raw Material Criticality Assessment

Companies that rely on the supply of mineral resources and metals for the provision of their products and services could be subject to various value-chain risks. Geological, geopolitical, economic, technical, social, or environmental factors could affect the extraction, refining, or processing of raw materials, and the deployment of the technologies in which these materials are used.

A Raw Material Criticality Assessment is a study that allows to identify Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) and supply risk hotspots in the value chain of a company, a product, or even a regional or national economy.

Companies, policymakers, and researchers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring Critical Raw Materials. Since 2010, the European Commission regularly publishes an updated list of materials that are evaluated as critical for the European economy. Materials are critical when they have a high risk of a supply disruption, and high importance for the economy, because they are used in sectors with a high contribution to economic growth. Critical materials include light and heavy rare earth elements (LREEs and HREEs), tungsten, niobium, magnesium, etc. CRMs have been the focus of many governmental and industrial R&D projects that aim to secure the access to these materials.

What does this mean for your company?

It is possible that a material that is not critical for the overall European economy be of high criticality for your company, for example, if your company operates in a niche sector. Vice versa, raw materials that are critical for the European economy are not necessarily critical for your company. A tailored, company-focused raw material criticality study is needed to have an accurate vision of the specific value-chain risks that are relevant for your company.

Via a raw material criticality assessment, hotspots in your company’s value chain will be identified that might result in supply disruptions, strong price fluctuations, exposure to environmental and social regulations, or potential reputational risks. WeLOOP will furthermore accompany your company in the formulation of concrete strategies to mitigate these risks.

Critical Raw Materials list of the European Commission (2020)

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