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Global initiatives for critical raw materials: Perspectives from the US, UK, and Japan

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Amidst growing concerns over the dependence on imports of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), countries worldwide are taking proactive measures to secure their supply chains and enhance domestic production. Here’s a snapshot of strategies employed by the US, UK, and Japan:

US Strategy on CRMs: The US Department of Defense (DoD) employs various actions under the Defense Production Act Title III to ensure timely access to essential domestic industrial resources. Initiatives include investing in domestic processing of Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE) and funding research for new processing technologies.

UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy: The UK aims to bolster supply chain resilience and diversity through increased domestic production and collaboration with international partners. Strategies encompass extraction of tungsten and lithium domestically, along with promoting circular economy practices to alleviate pressure on primary supply.

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Japan’s Approach to CRMs: Japan prioritizes economic security through measures such as the Economic Security Promotion Act, which emphasizes diversification of CRM supply chains away from China. The establishment of the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) and investments in mining companies like Lynas Rare Earths Ltd. exemplify Japan’s commitment to ensuring a stable CRM supply.

These initiatives underscore a global recognition of the importance of CRMs and the need for strategic action to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities and foster economic resilience.

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