17 April, 2023: The British Geological Survey (BGS) has published a report for the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC), which identifies regions in the UK with potential for critical raw minerals. This report is a comprehensive evaluation of the geological potential for critical raw materials on a national level. This marks as one of the first steps by the UK Government to develop its critical minerals strategy, which seeks to increase the country’s resilience to disruptions in critical mineral supply chains by fostering the growth of domestic capability.
Geologists in the UK have identified 8 areas with the potential to yield minerals that are essential for clean energy technologies. These areas have been identified as promising prospects for mineral exploration and development.
From Scotland's Highland to the south-west of England, multiple regions in the UK possess geological characteristics that may enable the extraction of 18 metals and minerals, such as cobalt and lithium. These minerals have been identified by the government as critical for ensuring economic security. The CMIC has stated that securing a supply of lithium for battery production could be vital in enhancing the UK’s capacity for EVs, thus advancing the development of sustainable technologies.
In a press release by BGS, Dr. Kathryn Goodenough, BGS Principal Geologist said, “Mining in the UK has a long history and many of the prospective areas have been mined before. For example, the Llŷn Peninsula of North Wales was mined for many years for manganese, which was originally important for steel making. In the future, the manganese deposits could be important for battery production”.
The findings in the report provide crucial insights into the global supply chain of critical minerals, identifying both risks and opportunities for their sustainable development. As the world moves towards a greener and more technologically advanced future, the importance of critical minerals cannot be overstated.