Critical Raw Materials for Ireland for Resource Efficient Economy (CIRCLE) is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland and co-funded by the Geological Survey Ireland. CIRCLE project is developing first ever Critical Raw Materials assessment methodology for Ireland.
ABOUT CIRCLE PROJECT
Raw materials are backbone of manufacturing industry. The advancements in the manufacturing of high quality products resulted in increased demand of new and innovative high value products. This in turn has increased the demand for raw materials and multimoded by the digital revolution and efforts for transitions towards low-carbon economy. The EU policies, UNSDGs, and Ireland’s ambitious targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 has drive the industry sectors to focus on use of clean and green materials and manufacturing processes to achieve the climate neutral status. These conditions have made several raw materials critical due to several factors associated with their supply and economic importance.
This project aims to identify and provide a list of critical raw materials (CRM) required for Irish economy growth and sustainable competitiveness to the relevant stakeholders. The project will focus on non-energy extractive industry raw materials (NEEI-RM) that are crucial to “Electrical and Electronics”, “Medical Devices”, and “Manufacturing” industrial sectors in Ireland. The project will respond to the key CRM issues in these industrial sectors from supply chain point of view, considering the mining, processing and possible recycling routes of these materials.
The project will respond to the key challenges in the methodology to identify the CRM and formulate a comprehensive methodology focusing on Irish needs. European Commission’s method to create a list of CMR list is based on calculating a score using two parameters, economic importance (EI) and supply risk (SR). A threshold is then applied to the achieved score in order to include or exclude a particular raw material from the CRM list. The score calculations made by the EC for raw materials are based on data available from the last 5 years. The project will conduct a review of the “Best Practice” for CRM list creation methods and identify parameters not included in the EU methodology. Building up on European Commission’s methodologies to create list of CRM, this project will develop a method which better suits Ireland’s economy, include the parameters used by EU countries relevant to Irish situation and use the data from the last 10 years. The national and international sources of the data will be identified and a CRM list will be created. The project will review the available database platforms and upload the data achieved in the project for open access to stakeholders and general public. The project will liaise with the Geographical Survey Ireland (GSI) in order to provide guidance to the relevant stakeholders and recommendations for a national database.
The CRM list will reinforce Ireland’s efforts in protecting the key natural resources, reducing waste, increasing recycling and consider substitution alternatives where possible. The project outcomes will assist the relevant stakeholders to develop informed policies for further technology developments, regulations and standards and will guide the markets towards sustainable competitiveness. The project will strengthen the Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency activities towards a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy.