The British Government-funded Critical Minerals Association – Australia and Perth-based Edith Cowan University have teamed up to carry out a project to build a critical minerals supply chain resilience index.
Critical Minerals Association – Australia managing director Namali MacKay said the idea was to investigate pinch points in the global supply chain; not just caused by COVID-19 disruptions, but also as a result of monopolies in parts of the chain.
“What this project is aiming to do is look at how we can measure what those pinch points are, those critical blockages and bottlenecks across the international supply chain,” Ms MacKay said.
“Putting measurement around it will allow governments, companies and the industry to look at how we can address those pinch points, manage them and plan for the risks.”
The critical minerals supply chain is not a major, globally integrated supply chain as it currently stands, it is a developing sector in terms of scale and strategic importance, which offers up significant challenges as well as opportunities.
Edith Cowan University associate professor Flavio Macau told delegates this afternoon at Paydirt’s 2023 Battery Minerals Conference that the project to develop a supply chain resilience index would attempt to deliver a roadmap to the industry on how to anticipate risks and have policy makers put their effort into the right places.
“There is simply not enough money for everyone doing everything at the same time everywhere,” Mr Macau said.
“We know there is a rising demand, and that rising demand is becoming critical in the coming years. So what are the sources we can get, how secure are they, how we can work with them and how can we mitigate the risks?
“That’s what we are trying to measure, and by measurement we are talking about crude data – we are talking about numbers. We have seen at this conference a lot of data and numbers, but it also comes from perceptions or what we would call more qualitative data.
“We want to go to the next level and try to understand what the relationship of all the data is and what has happened in the past five years, so we can have some idea of what will happen in the coming five to 10 years.”