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Here’s Italy’s plan to secure critical minerals

The cabinet approved a decree aimed at ensuring the supply of critical raw materials and revitalising the Italian mining sector. The government will invest one billion in revitalising research and extraction of critical materials

Italy is going back to the mines. The Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, and the Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Pichetto Fratin, signed the decree approved by the Council of Ministers to relaunch the mining of critical raw materials. 

  • The new decree aims to ensure a secure supply of critical raw materials and revive Italy’s mining sector, which has seen a significant decline, increasing the country’s dependence on minerals from other parts of the world, notably from China to Africa, India and South America.
  • The decree establishes a new governance system, the Technical Committee for Critical and Strategic Raw Materials at the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy. This committee will monitor supply chains, assess available stocks, and draw up a national plan for critical raw materials every three years.

The role of the private sector. On the plate, the government is putting money from the sovereign fund of the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, one billion, to “support specific projects and encourage the creation of national champions”, according to the ministers. 

  • For new mining projects involving the processing of critical raw materials, holders of mining concessions will have to pay the state a product royalty of between 5% and 7%.
  • These funds will be allocated to the National Made in Italy Fund to support investments in the supply chain of critical raw materials.

The resources available. Italy can play a vital role in the European strategy defined in the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which identifies 34 critical raw materials, including 17 considered strategic. 

  • In addition, the EU strategy and the related Italian decree aim to increase the EU’s capacity to meet the 10% of annual consumption from locally extracted materials. 
  • According to the newspaper La Republica, based on the elaborations of the Minister for Enterprise, an Australian multinational has identified a critical lithium deposit in the region of Lazio. Liguria has one of the largest titanium reservoirs, amounting to 9 million tonnes.

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