Critical metals

Critical metals

This page is dedicated to minerals and metals that are critical to the development of low-carbon technologies and the global energy transition. It provides comprehensive datasets on this topic, including mineral reserves and production over time. Each dataset is accompanied by statistical descriptions - graphs and maps. The shared content has a broad range of research applications, including studies on energy transitions, energy economics, and geopolitical risks.



Definition

A critical mineral is a mineral that is considered essential to a country's economy and whose supply may be threatened by geopolitical factors, finite deposits, or high demand (European Commission, 2023a). As such, critical mineral lists are country-specific. For example, the European Union has identified 34 critical raw materials, while the United States has listed 50 materials (European Commission, 2023b; USGS, 2022). Despite this, there is some convergence for several minerals identified as critical for the energy transition, such as cobalt, copper, graphite, lithium, manganese, nickel, platinum group metals, and rare earth metals (IRENA, 2023).


Critical minerals shares and reserves

This database provides a dataset on mineral extraction and reserves critical for low-carbon technologies, i.e., industrial, battery and storage, solar panels, wind turbines, and nuclear energy technologies. The dataset covers 20 minerals, measured in metric tons, across 52 countries from 1994 to 2020. The author used scrapping methodologies to retrieve data from the United States Geological Survey and translated it into a panel dataset.

The list of critical minerals includes antimony, bauxite, berrylium, cobalt, copper, germanium, graphite, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, palladium, platinum, rare earth elements (REE), rhenium, silicium, tunsgten, vanadium, and zirconium. This list is based on the European Union Commission's communication and the work of critical mineral experts.

Users are required to cite the following in their publications: “Research work realized thanks to “Critical minerals shares and reserves” data, based on Bonnet, T. (2023) “Foreign Direct Investment and Strategic Minerals”, Working Paper EconomiX 2023-7. And shared in the context of the Equipex Pladifes (ANR-21-ESRE-0036), hosted at the Institut Louis Bachelier “ For additional information, please refer to the corresponding paper: Bonnet, T. (2023) “Foreign Direct Investment and Strategic Minerals”, Working Paper EconomiX 2023-7.





References

Scientific papers
- Bonnet, T. (2023) “Foreign Direct Investment and Strategic Minerals”, Working Paper EconomiX 2023-7.

Reports
- IEA (2021), “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions”, IEA, Paris, License: CC BY 4.0.
- IRENA (2023), “Geopolitics of the energy transition: Critical materials”, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.
- European Commission (2023a), “Critical raw materials”.
- European Commission (2023b), “Study on the Critical Raw Materials for the EU 2023 – Final Report”, European Commission. - USGS (2022), “2022 Final List of Critical Minerals”, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.