The green transition – and the transition to sustainable and renewable energy sources – requires a wide array of critical mineral-based raw materials. Technologies and products like solar panels, electric vehicle batteries, and mobile technology all require certain metals and minerals. The demand for such raw materials has increased significantly over the last years and is expected to only increase further in the future.
Several of these mineral-based raw materials have been labelled as “critical raw materials” by the EU because of their importance for European industry and economy and because they are associated with supply risks. Most of these raw materials are produced outside Europe today.
This report, written by the Nordic geological survey agencies and related agencies and academia, shows that the Nordics has a major potential in their bedrock to provide a secure supply of almost the full range of these metals and minerals needed for the green energy transition.
The report finds that in mineral-richness, the Nordic bedrock can be compared with the most mineral-rich areas of the world, such as Canada, the USA, Brazil and Australia, and can supply almost all of the critical raw materials defined by the EU.
The Nordic bedrock thus represents an unexploited economic potential in the Nordic region; we already have the mining experience and technology, and knowledge about unexplored raw materials could give better utilization of and added value to existing mining operations and to our industries.
In addition to creating sustainable economic growth and employment, the Nordics can ensure Europe and the rest of the world access to critical raw materials produced with high sustainability, ethic and environmental standards.
The report underlines that continued research and a joint Nordic database would make it easier for decision-makers and businesses to see the opportunities in this area.
About the report
The report is financed by Nordic Innovation as part of our Sustainable Minerals program. In enabling the ongoing green transition, the Nordics have a unique position to take the lead within sustainable mineral and metal production. With collaboration across sectors and value chains, innovation can be accelerated – and through the program we will contribute to make the Nordics a leading region within sustainable mineral production.
The report was launched in September at a meeting between the Nordic ministers of trade and industry where they agreed on strengthening Nordic cooperation on sustainable mineral production. They see access to raw materials as central if the Nordic region is to meet its ambitious climate goals and contribute to the European Green Deal and EU’s “Fit for 55”-package – as well as for reaching the vision of making the Nordic region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.
The report is written by:
- The Geological Survey of Finland
- The Geological Survey of Sweden
- The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
- The Ministry of Mineral Resources in Greenland
- The Geological Survey of Norway
- The Norwegian Directorate of Mining
- Reykjavik University
- The National Energy Authority of Iceland
The authors are responsible for the content of the report.