The UK government has launched the country’s first data analysis centre to track the supply of critical minerals amid global supply chain problems that have blighted sectors ranging from automotive to consumer electronics.
The Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC), based in Nottingham, has been founded to support the UK’s mineral independence as the demand for materials used in electronics manufacturing soars.
The minerals being analysed include cobalt, lithium, and graphite. These materials are essential to the manufacturing of products like electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines, and mobile phones.
The government has predicted the production of products requiring these materials will increase by nearly 500% by 2050.
Using data to improve UK supply chains
The centre will use data to improve the resilience of the UK’s supply chain by analysing the supply, demand, and other market dynamics. The data collected at CMIC will inform the decisions of policymakers to ensure evidence-based policies are enacted to meet the country’s needs.
“Critical minerals are so important to every aspect of our daily lives, whether it’s the phones we use, the cars we drive, or the batteries in our laptops,” said Minister for Industry Lee Rowley.
Rowley added that the world was shifting towards technologies that require a solid supply of these minerals and that global supply chain competition would only increase.
The British Geological Survey in Nottingham will run the centre as the UK fights to stay competitive in the global critical mineral market.
“That’s why we’re harnessing the British Geological Survey’s vast experience in geoscience, to ensure better access to these crucial resources, and support the delivery of our forthcoming Critical Minerals Strategy,” Rowley said.
The British Geological Survey Director, Dr Karen Hanghøj said: “Through the new Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre, we are looking forward to building on this track record to provide UK industry and policymakers with high-quality information and advice.”
The government will also publish its UK Critical Minerals Strategy later in 2022, which will further set out its approach to supporting British supply chains.
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