Scarce Metals and Minerals as Factors of Risk: How to Handle Criticality

  • Stormy-Annika Mildner
  • Gitta Lauster
  • Lukas Boeckelmann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Logistics book series (LNLO)

Abstract

Scarce natural resources are increasingly perceived as a risk by governments and industries alike. The turn of the century brought starkly rising and fluctuating prices. High demand due to technological innovation and fast growth in emerging economies, speculation, and increasing government interventions in commodity markets are only a few of the factors that contribute to this development, fuelling worries about sufficient and affordable supply of raw materials in many countries. Governments around the world are now looking at what needs to be done to secure supply of critical materials; many of them, such as Germany and Japan, have passed integrated resource strategies. Resources also rank high on this year’s G20 agenda under the French presidency. Apart from the introduction and conclusion, our paper is divided into two parts. We start with an overview of studies on critical metals and minerals, comparing their methodology and findings, as well as highlighting the major risks on commodity markets. Despite differences in their framework and methodology, a number of metals and minerals is identified as critical by most of them (e.g. rare earths). The two predominant risks on commodity markets highlighted in the studies are price and supply risks. We then discuss national raw materials strategies of two sets of countries: countries/regions that are heavily dependent on raw materials imports (Germany, EU, and Japan) and resource-rich countries (the United States, Canada, China). With the exception of China, supply security is commonly viewed as a primary task for industry, not government. The government’s primary chore is to ensure market access and fair competition. However, depending on the national wealth in raw materials and on a country’s industrial structure, the countries prioritize varying key aspects in their raw materials strategies.

Keywords

Rare Earth World Trade Organisation Platinum Group Metal Exclusive Economic Zone Critical Metal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stormy-Annika Mildner
    • 1
  • Gitta Lauster
    • 2
  • Lukas Boeckelmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit, Mitglied der InstitutsleitungStiftung Wissenschaft und PolitikBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit, Forschungsassistentin in der InstitutsleitungStiftung Wissenschaft und PolitikBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Student für Volkswirtschaftslehre an der University of BristolBristolGreat Britain

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