In its Energy Study 2012, the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) emphasizes the importance of using domestic raw materials against the backdrop of increased price volatility and supply risk.
As summarized by the German daily Handelsblatt, the agency’s core message is as follows (rough translation):
Supply shortages are likely to occur not due to due to geology, but will rather stem from natural disasters or economic and political turmoil. The agency reiterates that in spite of rising production, known global reserves of energy resources have in fact increased, with oil being the only energy source for which reserves are considered finite. Meanwhile, it predicts that the supply picture for high tech minerals such as Indium, Gallium, Molybdenum or Neodymium – with China being the main producer – will remain tense.
A recently formed, German government-backed “globally active profit-oriented raw materials corporation” called the “Resource Alliance,” reflects Germany’s strong focus on mineral resource security. After a successful startup phase, the alliance’s first projects are slated to kick off in 2013.
It’s important to note that Germany’s approach to mineral resources is rather comprehensive. It stretches beyond the now-hyped Rare Earths and includes many other rare metals, including the ones derived from what we have described as gateway metals in our September study – a broad focus we’d like to see more of on this side of the Atlantic.