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4 March, 2024

Newsletter February

The month of February is over and we have just had a sad anniversary which we are all very aware of. Unfortunately, the geopolitical tensions remain high and more than easing off, they seem to grow. In a different part of the world, another crisis has yet again disrupted the global supply chains. And 2024 is a “super election year”, with elections in many parts of the world, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty for the future. It´s increasingly clear that Europe needs to take even more responsibility for its own future and that includes increase its self-sufficiency, in as many areas as possible.

Eurobattery Minerals´ business central for Europe’s future 
If we  want to maintain and develop our high-tech industry, and complete the transition to a fossil-free society, it´s absolutely vital for Europe to secure access to industrially strategic metals and minerals. The demand for metals and minerals is already high and will skyrocket as these are needed to carry out the electrification and digitalisation. 

Today, important mineral resources and value chains are controlled by a few countries outside the EU, above all, by China (as we can see on the image below). This dependency leads to increased vulnerability and puts the industrial development within EU at risk. 

In this very volatile context, Eurobattery Minerals´ vision is to make Europe self-sufficient in responsibly mined battery minerals and by doing to, power a cleaner world, create jobs and make Europe a more secure place.

The global production of critical and strategic raw materials 2023. Source: SGU

Future Mine & Mineral Conference 2024
Earlier this winter, we attended the Future Mine & Mineral Conference 2024 in Stockholm, Sweden. It was two busy days with interesting and productive discussions among important policymakers and stakeholders, like for example, Ebba Busch (Swedish Minister for Energy, Business and Industry), Bernd Schäfer (CEO, EIT RawMaterials), Stefan Romedahl (President, Boliden Mines), Peter Tom Jones (Director at KU Leuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals), and Madalina Ivanica (Deputy Head of Raw Materials, DG GROW).

Ebba Busch, the Swedish Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, speaking at Future Mine & Mineral Conference in Stockholm on the 29th of January.

European climate ambitions and available raw materials
A lot of focus during the conference was also on Europe´s self-sufficiency and Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). Most speakers touched on the already mentioned geopolitical situation in the world, and also Europe´s dependency on autocratic states for critical and strategical raw materials. 

In Europe, we consume approximately a quarter of the world´s raw materials but we produce only three percent. This of course means that we are almost totally dependent on imports. As we have pointed out here at Eurobattery Minerals many times, European production of critical raw materials needs to increase, and they must be produced in a responsible way. The demand for metals – like copper, nickel, and cobalt – will go up by various hundred percent during the upcoming years due to the Green Transition.

And as Maria Sunér, CEO at Svemin, pointed out at the conference, there is a mismatch between the climate ambitions and the availability of critical and strategic raw materials in the EU: We simply cannot reach our climate goals for the Green Transition without these vital minerals.

Commodity prices – March 2023 to March 2024

Inauguration of Smart Exploration Research Center
Early in February, Eurobattery Minerals was in Uppsala at the opening event of Smart Exploration Research Center (SERC) where Eurobattery Minerals is a partner. Founded with a SEK 60 million grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Center aims to be a fast-track hub for extraction and enrichment and is launched to meet the emerging needs of critical raw materials exploration in the Nordic countries, Europe, and beyond.

With this investment the mining prospecting will gain new momentum at the same time as the hunt for critical and strategic minerals is intensified to secure increased raw material independence in Europe and to promote the green and digital transition. Eurobattery Minerals expects the partnership with Smart Exploration Research Center to be win-win relationship where we not only can contribute with knowledge from our battery minerals projects, but also take advantage of resources from the Center.

Alireza Malehmir, director of Smart Exploration Research Center, at the opening ceremony.

Academia, private companies, and government agencies
The Center is led by Uppsala University and is a broad consortium of academic and industry expertise with three other universities (Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Lund) partnering with Eurobattery Minerals and a range of other colleagues from the mining industry. SERC also has the support of the Nordic geological surveys (SGU, NGU, GEUS, and GTK).

The operations at SERC are expected to run for 6 years, and participating organisations will exchange knowledge and work with joint R&D projects.

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Newsletter January 2024

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