June 30, 2021
On June 29, the 11th Conference on Critical Materials and Minerals* was held online, chaired by Japan.
At the conference, the representatives of Japan, the U.S., the EU, Australia, and Canada exchanged information on their policies for critical materials, research and development (R&D), future challenges and other issues. They confirmed that the five countries will continue to advance collaborative efforts for securing a stable supply of critical materials.
1. BackgroundThe Conference on Critical Materials and Minerals commenced in 2011 in response to circumstances such as soaring prices for some critical materials, especially rare earth elements, from 2010. The conference has been held regularly in order to exchange information on policies for critical materials, R&D, and other efforts under the framework of multilateral cooperation between Japan, the U.S., the EU, Australia, and Canada.
2. Summary of the outcomes
- The conference was chaired by Japan, and welcomed Australia and Canada as new official members. The participants held discussions and exchanged information regarding critical materials in three sessions which focused on the following topics, respectively: 1) the current situation regarding the Japanese rare earth element industry and the challenges regarding critical minerals in EVs, 2) the resource policy for critical minerals in each country, and 3) the path forward for future conferences.
- As a result, the participants reaffirmed the importance of making the supply chains for critical materials more resilient, confirmed that they will continue to promote collaborative efforts between Japan, the U.S., the EU, Australia, and Canada, and summarized the Chairman's Summary as attached.
- The next conference will be held in Japan around the fall of this year (2021).
Division in Charge
Metal Industry Technology Office, Metal Industries Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
Mineral and Natural Resources Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy