Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
Image source:

As the demand for energy transition, electromobility, and digitalization surges globally, Germany finds itself at the forefront, recognizing the critical importance of a steady supply of minerals and metals. Essential for sectors like automotive, mechanical engineering, and chemicals, raw materials form the backbone of Germany’s industrial prowess. The complexities of metal supply chains, coupled with the escalating global appetite for these resources, heighten the significance of securing a stable supply.

Germany’s current reliance on imported raw materials is pronounced, with only a fraction sourced domestically. The German Mineral Resources Agency highlights that in 2022, the country imported metals worth €121.7 billion, reflecting the challenges of achieving self-sufficiency. The geopolitical dimension adds another layer, with China emerging as a central hub in global metal supply chains. China’s role as a major supplier, especially in providing rare earths to the European Union, underscores the vulnerabilities created by high dependencies.

In response, the European Commission has proposed the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) in March 2023 to address these challenges. The CRMA seeks to boost domestic mining, expand recycling capacities, and diversify imports of critical raw materials. The European Union aims to establish new partnerships and reduce dependency on individual countries to ensure a resilient supply chain.

Globally, the competition for raw materials is escalating. The United States, through initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Minerals Security Partnership, actively secures its raw material supply chains. China, on the other hand, extends its influence through industrialization projects in Africa and the solar industry.

In this race, even Saudi Arabia, with its “Vision 2030,” is investing significantly in mineral resource development. Resource-rich countries in the Global South see the geopolitical competition as an opportunity to move beyond being mere suppliers and establish stages of industrial production within their borders.

The EU responds by forging strategic raw materials partnerships with various countries, recognizing the need for a coordinated approach among member states. However, the global race necessitates careful navigation of international cooperation complexities.

While financial resources are crucial, strategic foreign policy decisions take center stage. The EU must engage in meaningful dialogues with potential raw material partners, considering economic and industrial policy interests. The competition for raw materials extends beyond monetary transactions, requiring a nuanced and proactive foreign policy approach to secure Europe’s access to essential resources.