The global leading economies are accelerating their effort to sustainably manage the supply chain of critical minerals to support advanced technology manufacturing since June 2022 when the global initiative of the critical mineral alliance was announced. On this roadblock, the critical mineral exploration, and their efficient supply chain attracts a crucial importance.
Major developed economies like the USA, UK, European Union, Japan, and Australia along with many other countries including India, have identified the list of critical minerals. The identification is based on criteria such as production growth rate, future supply risks, and market dynamics at various levels of the supply chain such as geoscience, exploration, processing, and advanced manufacturing including the recycling process.
India has recently joined the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) and later unveiled the comprehensive list of 30 critical minerals complementing the country’s effort to become Atmanirbhar. This list will enable the growth of technology 4.0 and advance technology manufacturing in the country.
This strategic global partnership is advocating the high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards in maintaining the continuous supply of critical minerals such as cobalt, and lithium, including additional 17 ‘rare earth’ minerals. This will support advanced technology manufacturing across sectors such as electric mobility, smartphones, solar technology, etc. The move will help in countering the dominance of China in the critical mineral supply chain especially related to advanced technology manufacturing.
As per the annual data of the IEA, Critical Minerals Market Review, lithium has seen a sharp 50% jump in investment as one of the critical minerals that is followed by copper and nickel. These minerals are part of significant advancements in the global technology arena and thus directly impact the future of technology.
The seamless supply of these critical minerals is also paramount to achieving global pledges to counter the climate change scenario. The demand projections for such minerals in advanced technology manufacturing are on the rise. Thus, to drive research, innovation, and continuous availability of raw materials need to be planned sustainably so that global economic growth and technology advancements can be better acknowledged in a competitive yet cooperative environment.