Reportings and analyses show up a selection of 41 minerals and metals. In line with other studies, the report puts forward a relative concept of criticality. This means that raw material is labelled “critical” when the risks for supply shortage and their impacts on the economy are higher compared with most of the other raw materials. Two types of risks are considered: a) the "supply risk" taking into account the political-economic stability of the producing countries, the level of concentration of production, the potential for substitution and the recycling rate; and b) the "environmental country risk" assessing the risks that measures might be taken by countries with weak environmental performance in order to protect the environment and, in doing so, jeopardise the supply of raw materials to the EU. Building on existing approaches, this report sets out an innovative and pragmatic approach to determining criticality.
In particular, the Group considers that those raw materials falling within the top right cluster of the above diagram are critical. As noted, this is due to their high relative economic importance and to high relative supply risk. The 'environmental country risk' metric does not change this list of critical materials.