Minerals Security Partnership

Tags: International News

India is to join an 11-member US-led partnership for critical mineral supply chains called the 'Mineral Security Partnership (MSP)'.

Important facts

  • A group of Western countries are collaborating to develop alternatives to China to ensure key industrial supplies.

  • The Mineral Security Partnership is a new ambitious US-led partnership to secure the supply chain of rare minerals with the aim of reducing dependence on China.

  • India is not a part of this arrangement but is working to gain entry through diplomatic efforts.

  • Demand for rare minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies, is projected to increase significantly in the coming decades.

What is the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP)?

  • It is an initiative by the United States to strengthen rare mineral supply chains.

  • Partner countries - Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and European Commission.

  • Its purpose is to ensure that rare minerals are produced, processed and recycled in such a way that countries benefit from the full economic development of their geological management.

  • This new group will focus on the supply chains of cobalt, nickel, lithium and the 17 "rare minerals" found on Earth.

Rare Earth Elements

  • The 17 rare earth elements (REE) include the 15 Lanthanides (atomic numbers 57 — which is Lanthanum — to 71 in the periodic table) plus Scandium (atomic number 21) and Yttrium (39).

  • REEs are classified as light RE elements (LREE) and heavy RE elements (HREE).

  • Some REs are available in India such as Lanthanum, Cerium, Neodymium, Praseodymium and Samarium, while others such as Dysprosium, Terbium, Europium that are classified as HREE are not available in India.

  • Hence, there is a dependence on countries such as China for HREE.

Importance of these minerals 

  • The batteries used in electric vehicles require minerals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium.

  • REE is an essential component for over 200 consumer products such as mobile phones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, semiconductors, etc.

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