Inosi Nyatta, Craig Jones and Sam Saunders discuss new and proposed regulations involving critical minerals in the United States and European Union. Critical minerals, referred to as critical raw materials in the EU, are generally defined to include, among others, cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, nickel and rare earth minerals and are key components to clean energy technologies (in particular batteries) and other high-tech products.
In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was passed in August 2022, provides an estimated $369 billion in investments in energy security and climate change programs and also creates significant tax incentives for critical minerals to be extracted, processed and/or recycled in the United States or countries that are trade partners with the U.S.
Proposed by the European Commission in March 2023, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), aims to secure the EU’s supply of critical raw materials and bolster Europe’s own extraction, processing, refining and recycling of strategic raw materials. The CRMA would create a European Critical Raw Materials Board, set EU-wide targets for annual consumption of strategic raw materials, and establish a streamlined permitting process for strategic projects. However, unlike the IRA, it does not provide any additional funding.