UK opens first intelligence centre to process critical minerals

It is expected to improve the resilience of the UK’s supply chain for critical minerals, which are essential for manufacturing products such as EV batteries and wind turbines

Net Hero Podcast

The first-ever intelligence centre in the UK that will collect and analyse information on the supply of critical minerals, such as lithium, cobalt and graphite, has officially been launched.

The Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC), based in Nottingham, is expected to improve the resilience of the UK’s supply chain for critical minerals, which are essential for manufacturing products such as electric vehicle (EV) batteries and wind turbines,

Delivered by the British Geological Survey (BGS), it will provide the government with up-to-date data and analysis on supply, demand and market dynamics of critical minerals by combining its own resources, expertise and data with those of third parties.

The data can then be used for evidence-based policies aimed at developing “more robust” supply chains.

The government believes it is essential for the UK to take steps to secure a resilient and sustainable supply chain as the production of some critical minerals are expected to increase by nearly 500% by 2050.

Minister for Industry Lee Rowley said: “Critical minerals are so important to every aspect of our daily lives, whether it’s the phones we use, the cars we drive, or the batteries in our laptops.

“As the world shifts towards new green technologies, supply chains will become more competitive. That’s why we’re harnessing the British Geological Survey’s vast experience in geoscience, to ensure better access to these crucial resources and support the delivery of our forthcoming Critical Minerals Strategy.”

The CMIC will also provide policymakers with advice on emerging issues, including geopolitical, ethical or environmental risks associated with critical mineral sources.

CMIC Director Paul Lusty added: “The UK has announced world-leading targets to decarbonise the economy, which include plans to build an electric vehicle supply chain and transform the energy system using offshore wind and clean hydrogen. Building these technologies and the associated infrastructure will require substantial quantities of critical minerals.

“The UK’s current critical mineral needs are met almost entirely from overseas, through complex and dynamic international supply chains. The Centre will help the government and industry understand future UK critical minerals demand and potential chain supply vulnerabilities.”