European Union: Raw Materials Alliance Officially Operational

Two months after the launch of the European Raw Materials Alliance by the European Commission, ERMA became officially operational in November last year.

As reported by the newly established alliance, an “impressive number of over 300 partners from industry, research, government institutions and civil society” discussed how Europe’s raw materials supply could be secured to enable the EU’s green and digital transition. ERMA’s mission is to focus on increasing the EU’s resilience along particularly critical value chains. Therefore, it plans to “employ an agile process to swiftly examine and approve concrete investment projects, backed up with suitable EU financing”, according to a press release.

At the kick-off “meeting” in November, an investment process coordinated by EIT RawMaterials was presented as well as an investment update, where a current status of 23 investment cases has already been given priority. Those cases could reach a significant volume of up to 10 billion Euro, covering rare earths/magnets, raw materials for energy storage and conversion (and others for materials contributing to other industrial value chains), in more than 14 European countries. Concerning rare earths for magnets and motors, ERMA aims to strengthen the domestic supply chain. “Possible investment cases include brown- and greenfield mining addressing various aspects of circular economy including recycling, processing and product design”. Concerning advanced materials for energy storage and conversion, the alliance supports the domestic production of, for example, ore concentrates and primary and secondary cell-grade energy storage materials. “This way, gaps in the battery value chain in Europe can be closed,” it stated. “Concrete investment scenarios range from greenfield mining to processing and refining to provide input material for battery, solar and fuel cell production.”


The Network
ERMA network brings together a growing number of organizations from the public and private sectors covering the entire raw materials value chain. The alliance focuses on the most pressing needs, that is, increasing EU resilience in the supply chains for rare earth magnets and motors, batteries and fuel cells.

The alliance is an open and inclusive initiative and will involve all relevant stakeholders, including industrial actors along the value chain, Member States and regions, trade unions, civil society, research and technology organizations, investors and NGOs.


ERMA partners are invited to submit potential investment projects to strengthen domestic sourcing and improve the supply of secondary raw materials through resource efficiency and circular economy, the alliance emphasized. “All proposals will be collected, classified and evaluated. Selected proposals will be linked to investors via a matchmaking approach and accompanied from financing to implementation.”

Since the presentation of the EU Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials and the launch event in September 2020, the European Raw Materials Alliance had attracted a growing number of public and private sector stakeholders, it stated.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2021, Page 3, Photo: analogicus /