What Is Minerals Security Partnership?

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Natural Resource Management

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Ensuring that essential minerals are “produced, processed, and recycled in a manner that enhances the capacity of countries to achieve the full economic development advantage of their geological endowments” is the goal of the Minerals Security Partnership, a multilateral collaboration program.

Australia, Finland, Canada, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the European Commission, and the United States comprise the 11 participants in the new cooperation. These countries plan to cooperate to catalyze investment from governments and the corporate sector for strategic opportunities that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards.

Minerals Security Collaboration

Significance of Minerals Security Partnership

Minerals Security Partnership has great significance when it comes to sustainable development. Some of its vital importance are mentioned below:

Critical Minerals: In the future decades, there will likely be a significant increase in demand for essential minerals necessary for renewable energy and other technologies. Thanks to the MSP, governments and the business sector will spend more on strategic opportunities that uphold the highest environmental, social, and governance standards along the whole value chain.

Supply Chains: Industry insiders speculate that the new organization may concentrate on the supply chains for minerals, including cobalt, nickel, lithium, and the 17 “rare earth” minerals.

New Alternatives: The partnership is thought to be primarily focused on developing a rival to China, which has built up an infrastructure for processing rare earth minerals and has purchased mines in Africa for commodities like cobalt. The collaboration is also considered a component of the worldwide “China-plus-one” plan after the COVID-19 outbreak, severely disrupting the supply chain. The business approach, often called Plus One, seeks to expand into other nations rather than investing just in China. Western businesses have invested in China over the past 20 years, attracted by the country’s low production costs and sizable domestic consumer markets.

What are Critical Minerals?

Critical minerals are mineral resources with significant economic vulnerability and high global supply chain risk; however, they have no universal definition. Seventeen elements make up rare earth (RE), which is divided into light RE elements (LREE) and heavy RE elements (HREE).

Of fact, there is a wide variety of these, and many nations already have their own distinct lists of what they now see as critical minerals based on their needs for industrial production. But by the end of this decade, there will be a global imbalance between supply and demand for several essential minerals, particularly cobalt and lithium.

What are major critical minerals?

Graphite, lithium, and cobalt are the three most essential minerals. They are essential for producing semiconductors and high-end electronics and being utilized to create EV batteries. It is crucial for the aerospace, communications, and defence industries to have these minerals since they are also utilized in the production of fighter planes, drones, radio sets, and other essential equipment.

Top producers of critical minerals

The International Energy Agency’s 2021 study, which was revised in March 2022, states that Chile, Indonesia, Congo, China, Australia, and South Africa are the world’s top producers of essential minerals. China dominates the processing world. Others include Chile, Japan, and Indonesia. Aside from Australia and Japan, all these nations are unrepresented in the MSP.

Concerns of India with regard to the Minerals Security Partnership

  • The conversion of a significant portion of public and private transportation to electric cars is one of the primary drivers of India’s ambitious change in the mobility arena.
  • This emphasizes the necessity of securing the supply of crucial minerals together with a deliberate push toward electronics manufacture.
  • India must rely on a few nations, particularly China, to fuel its energy transition ambitions for electric cars if it cannot discover and develop these minerals.
  • That will be comparable to our reliance on a small number of nations for our oil.
  • Industry observers claim India’s lack of competence is why the nation would not have been allowed to join the MSP grouping.
  • Australia, Canada, and Japan are among the nations with REE deposits and the ability to harvest and treat them.

Way Ahead for India

India must encourage competition and innovation in its rare earth industry and draw in the significant funding required to build the infrastructure needed to compete with and supply the rest of the globe.

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas might establish a new Department for Rare Earths (DRE), utilizing its exploration, exploitation, refining, and regulation skills as a better course of action.

Indian private entrepreneurs might be encouraged to establish such junior exploration companies in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to explore REEs and supply value-added goods into the Indian market while domestic changes are anticipated.

Also Read: Is Renewable Energy A New Job Market For India?

 

Author

  • Dr. Emily Greenfield

    Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.

    View all posts

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