The Essential Materials Risk Index 2022 was launched today by Project Blue, a source of market analytics on energy transition supply chains and critical materials.
Cobalt is the most at-risk essential material, according to the Critical Materials Risk Index 2022. Because it is largely extracted as a by-product, mine and refined production are highly concentrated in the DRC and China, respectively, and a considerable part of supply originates from a small number of consolidated producers, cobalt scored highly in terms of supply risk. Due to ongoing societal concerns in Central Africa, its ESG risk score was high, and its economic importance score was high due to its role in lithium-ion batteries, aerospace, and other vital uses.
The second and third places, respectively, are supported by strong supply risk scores. Magnesium, light rare earth elements, aluminum, graphite, chromium, antimony, and vanadium are among the other materials in the top 10.
“While it’s no surprise that cobalt, rare earths, and niobium are at the top of the global list, it’s important to note that what makes a material vital is quite subjective, and depends on your position in the value chain,” said Dr. Jack Bedder, co-founder of Project Blue.
The Risk Index compares 40 key metals and minerals to characteristics that assess supply danger, environmental risk, and economic significance. The data is normalized and weighted to create three sub-indices that are then used to determine a material’s overall rank.
It may be used to compare and contrast critical commodities in terms of risk, whereas Project Blue’s free tools can be used to learn where critical minerals are mined, refined, and recycled, as well as which energy transition sectors and technologies they are employed in.