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Securing Europe’s resource future: Examining the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act

The CRMA sets forth specific mandates for Strategic Raw Materials (SRMs) within the EU. By 2030, 10% of the EU’s annual consumption must be sourced domestically, with an additional 40% to be processed domestically. Moreover, 25% of all processing waste and end-of-life (EOL) scrap must undergo domestic recycling. Additionally, the EU is prohibited from sourcing more than 65% of any SRM from a single nation.

In addition to these requirements, the EU Commission is tasked with monitoring supply risks and conducting stress tests every three years or as needed. The Commission will also oversee and evaluate strategic stockpiles of raw materials on a regular basis. Furthermore, member states are directed to establish national mineral exploration programs for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), which is expected to significantly increase exploration and development activities within the continent.

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To facilitate industry development, the EU Commission will publish projections of annual consumption for each of the 34 CRMs for the years 2030, 2040, and 2050. The first set of projections is expected within 18 months of the act’s implementation. Additionally, the Commission will streamline permitting processes for supply chain development projects and establish a system to facilitate offtake agreements.

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