Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (8): 1464-1476.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.08.03

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International comparison of critical mineral strategies: Historical evolution and tool selection

GE Jianping(), LIU Jiaqi   

  1. School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2020-02-19 Revised:2020-04-29 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-25


Security of critical minerals is an important guarantee for national socioeconomic development and national defense system construction. Developing a strategy for critical minerals is a necessary measure for ensuring resource security. Many countries in the world have formulated strategic measures for critical minerals. China has a large demand for related metal minerals and structural contradictions between supply and demand are outstanding, therefore it is particularly urgent to formulate national critical mineral strategies. In light of the policy texts of critical minerals in Australia, Japan, the European Union, and the United States from 2006 to 2019, this study conducted a comparative study from the perspectives of the international background, formulation basis, historical change, and policy policy tool selection of critical mineral strategies,put forward the main national critical mineral strategies evolution rule, driving factors and tool selection basis. The study found that “criticality” indicators in the four countries (regions) all include supply risks, and other indicators such as economic importance and operability were selected according to national conditions; the number of critical minerals related policy texts in the four countries (regions) steadily increased. The policy focus of the United States, Japan, and the European Union continues to be systematic, and the list of critical minerals is constantly updated and improved. The policy tools used are mainly regulatory tools, economic incentive tools play an auxiliary role, and the role of social policy tools is becoming increasingly prominent. On the basis of analyzing the patterns of change, driving factors, and policy tools and strategies of critical minerals in these countries, it is recommended that China, while establishing a catalogue of critical minerals, should improve the mineral reserve system, promote research and development of substitution and recovery technologies, and implement a “resource diplomacy” and other measures to build a reasonable and effective strategy for critical minerals.

Key words: critical minerals, supply risk, resource security, international comparison, historical evolution, policy tools