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Ireland Strategic Investment Fund allocates €30m to sustainable mining initiatives

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has unveiled a €30m investment into the Irish Minerals Fund, a vehicle dedicated to sustainable mining projects in the Republic. Spearheaded by Lionhead Resources, a private equity firm focused on mining, the fund will prioritize environmentally conscious investments, particularly those centered on zinc extraction.

Nick Ashmore, ISIF’s director, emphasized the significance of the investment, highlighting its dual benefits of promoting responsible mineral extraction and bolstering Ireland’s indigenous mining sector. He also underscored the potential for creating high-value jobs in rural areas, thereby contributing to regional development.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath echoed these sentiments, expressing optimism about the boost the investment would provide to the mineral extraction industry. Noting Ireland’s rich history in mining, McGrath emphasized the potential for the investment to generate highly skilled jobs across the regions.

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Lionhead Resources, known for its focus on mining investments essential for the transition to a low-carbon economy, will manage the fund from its bases in London and South Africa. The investment aligns with broader EU efforts to reduce reliance on Chinese dominance in critical mineral supply chains, particularly in sectors like electric vehicles and renewable energy.

The EU’s recent approval of the Critical Raw Materials Act underscores this shift in strategy, aiming to diversify supply sources and promote local extraction, processing, and recycling of critical minerals. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has criticized the influx of cheap Chinese electric vehicles into EU markets and announced an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs.

The CRMA outlines benchmarks for critical mineral supply and processing within the EU, reflecting the bloc’s commitment to sustainability and strategic autonomy in key industries.

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