The Department for Business and Trade launches new independent Critical Minerals Taskforce.

  • Department for Business and Trade launches new independent Critical Minerals Taskforce
  • Taskforce will guarantee supply of critical minerals as production of all kinds is expected to rise sharply – some as much as 500% by 2050
  • Government work will ensure UK has strong foothold in this growing market by supporting key investments in related industries

Today (Thursday 20 April) the independent Task & Finish Group on Industry Resilience for Critical Minerals had its inaugural meeting. The group brings together independent experts to advise the government on where dependencies exist in the UK’s critical mineral supply chains, and how industry can protect its supply.

Certain minerals are essential for the technologies we depend on for jobs, economic growth, and everyday life, from mobile phones to wind turbines. Minerals like graphite, lithium and silicon are vital to the economy as they are irreplaceable components in products ranging from laptops to aircraft. “Critical” minerals are defined as those that are important and have high levels of supply risk.

Attending the meeting today, Business and Trade Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

“We rely on critical minerals far more than people realise. They’re essential to much of what keeps society going, from medical equipment saving lives in hospitals to wind turbines keeping our economy powered up.

“In an increasingly uncertain world, it’s clear we must do more to safeguard our supply chains – because as the name suggests, these minerals really are critical to our future. This group of experts will help us build resilient supply chains that will make a strong foundation for the new, green industries we’re backing to deliver jobs and growth for decades to come.”

The Task & Finish Group was commissioned by Minister Ghani and announced in the recent Critical Minerals Refresh publication. Members of the independent group have been drawn from key industry sectors that depend on critical minerals, as well as experts with insights into the supply vulnerabilities of UK industry. The group will deliver an independent report to government later this year.

Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Critical Minerals Task & Finish Group and CEO High Value Manufacturing Catapult said:

“Ground-breaking innovations need a reliable supply of raw materials to have real-world impact.

“We need to be able to trust in our critical mineral supplies. Whether it’s more efficient batteries for electric vehicles or next-generation communications systems, the cutting-edge technologies of today and the innovations of tomorrow are only possible we have secure supply chains.

“Collaboration is key, and I look forward to working with our panel of cross-industry experts to help put the UK in the best position to grow and thrive.”

In July 2022, HMG published the UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy to promote resilience in critical mineral supply chains, safeguarding UK industry, supporting the clean energy transition and protecting national security and defence capability.

To deliver these ambitions, collaboration between government, industry, academia and other stakeholders is vital. The Task & Finish Group will harness the wealth of expertise across UK industry – those that depend on a secure supply of critical minerals – to identify supply chain vulnerabilities and promote resilience and diversity, strengthening the competitiveness of the UK and helping grow the economy.

Membership list:

  • Jeff Townsend, Critical Minerals Association
  • Stephen Hall, Minor Metals Trade Association
  • Helen Kennett, Rolls Royce
  • Kevin Craven, ADS
  • Gabby Costigan, BAE Systems
  • Nathan Earland, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Mike Hawes, SMMT
  • Julian Hetherington, Advanced Propulsion Centre
  • Andy Walker, Johnson Matthey
  • Thomas Birk, BASF
  • Steve Elliott, Chemical Industry Association
  • Dr Cristina Garcia-Duffy,Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Ben Hirst, ITM Power
  • James Robottom, RenewableUK
  • Chris Hewett, Solar Energy UK
  • Tom Greatrex, Nuclear Industry Association
  • Peter Ellingworth, ABHI
  • Gerry Thurgood, National Microelectronics Institute
  • Matthew Evans, Tech UK
  • Andrew Willman, BEAMA
  • Mark Richards, Rio Tinto
  • Ben Jones, Anglo American
  • Guy Platten, International Chamber of Shipping
  • Simon Moores, Benchmark
  • Paul Lusty, Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre
  • Allan Walton, Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Minerals
  • Colin Church, IOM3
  • Amber Rudd, Advisor in energy and security
  • Cherilyn Mackrory MP, APPG for Critical Minerals
Published 20 April 2023