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Press Release: Critical Raw Materials Act Come Into Force

Press Release: Critical Raw Materials Act Come Into Force



Press Release:

Critical Raw Materials Act enters into force

From Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

Published on 23 May 2024

A new EU Regulation, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA)​, has today come into effect in Ireland. It will ensure EU access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials, enabling Europe to meet its 2030 climate and digital objectives.

Critical raw materials are of high economic importance for Europe while also being highly vulnerable to supply disruptions. The EU's demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) such as lithium, copper and cobalt is set to increase exponentially, as the EU transitions to clean energy systems which require the building up of EU production of batteries, solar panels, permanent magnets and other green technologies.

Today, Europe relies heavily on imports, often from a single third country, and recent crises have underlined EU strategic dependencies. Without joint and timely action, a well-functioning single market, resiliency and competitiveness, European industries and EU efforts to meet its climate and digital objectives are at risk.

The Act is a comprehensive response to these challenges. Building on the strength of the single market, the Regulation will ensure that the EU can rely on strong, resilient, and sustainable value chains for critical raw materials. The Regulation will strengthen all stages of the European critical raw materials value chain, diversify the EU's imports to reduce strategic dependencies, improve the EU's capacity to monitor and mitigate risks of disruptions to the supply of critical raw materials, and improve circularity and sustainability.

The Regulation outlines a list of 34 Critical Raw Materials for which it will look to have Member States enact processes to help enable Critical Raw Material projects; however the Commission recognises that a specific focus must be placed on those raw materials that are used in strategic technologies and has further identified a subset of 17 materials that are considered to be Strategic Raw Materials. The Act sets out the following benchmarks along the strategic raw materials value chain:

  • At least 10% of the EU's annual consumption for extraction
  • At least 40% of the EU's annual consumption for processing
  • At least 25% of the EU's annual consumption for recycling
  • No third country accounts for more than 65 % of the EU's annual consumption of such a strategic raw material

'Strategic Project' designation

Those projects that receive 'Strategic Project' designation will benefit from more streamlined and efficient permitting procedures, as well as facilitated access to finance avenues. Each Member State will be responsible for designating one or more authorities as Single Points of Contact, who will be responsible for coordinating the permit-granting process for both critical and strategic raw material projects. Once the CRMA is implemented Ireland intends to have two Single Points of Contact – one for extraction and one for processing and recycling.

The CRMA confirms Strategic Partnerships with third countries as an essential action, to secure the supply of raw materials to the EU and reaffirms the intention to expand the EU's network of strategic raw materials partnerships. The partnerships are focused on collaborating on the integration of sustainable raw material value chains, research and innovations and promoting high environmental, social and governance standards and practices.

Focus on socially and environmentally responsible practices

Ireland supports the objective of the Regulation, in terms of strengthening of the CRM value chain at all levels, and welcomes the main provisions that will improve knowledge, efficiency and cooperation on CRM extraction, processing and recycling; Ireland has a world-class geological endowment, is a major producer and refiner of critical raw materials and has modern policy and permitting for exploration, mining and recycling.

Ireland also welcomes the Act's focus on socially and environmentally responsible practices. This is essential for the achievement of the EU's Green Deal objectives, for supporting European competitiveness and ensuring consistency with Ireland's Policy Statement on Minerals and Mining (Critical Raw Materials for the Circular Economy Transition)

The Regulation is available on the EUR-Lex website.

Notes to the Editor

A senior official from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications may be available for media engagements on this topic.


You can read this press release on HERE.