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Italy boosts mining sector with one billion investment in critical raw materials

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Italy has taken decisive steps to rejuvenate its mining sector and secure a stable supply of critical raw materials. A new decree approved by the Council of Ministers aims to reduce dependence on foreign minerals, notably from regions like China, Africa, India and South America. Spearheaded by Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, and Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Pichetto Fratin, the decree establishes a robust governance framework under the Technical Committee for Critical and Strategic Raw Materials. This committee will oversee supply chain monitoring, assess stock availability, and develop a national plan for critical raw materials every three years.

The decree allocates one billion euros from the sovereign fund of the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy to support specific projects and promote the emergence of national industry leaders. It introduces a royalty system for new mining ventures processing critical raw materials, with royalties ranging from 5% to 7% payable to the state. These funds will bolster the National Made in Italy Fund, fostering investments across the critical raw materials supply chain.

Italy’s strategic move aligns with the European Union’s Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which identifies 34 critical raw materials, including 17 deemed strategic. The EU strategy, supported by Italy’s decree, aims to enhance Europe’s capacity to fulfill 10% of its annual consumption from domestically sourced materials.

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Furthermore, Minister Urso highlighted significant mineral deposits within Italy, such as a critical lithium deposit in Lazio identified by an Australian multinational and substantial titanium reserves in Liguria totaling 9 million tonnes. These resources underscore Italy’s potential to play a pivotal role in Europe’s quest for resource security and sustainable economic growth.

In summary, Italy’s initiative marks a strategic pivot towards self-sufficiency in critical raw materials, positioning the country to bolster its industrial capabilities and contribute effectively to European resilience and sustainability goals.

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