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A new report stresses the need for a steady supply of critical minerals as key minerals could be “subject to price volatility, geopolitical influence and even disruptions to supply.” Ukraine has many such minerals untapped. 

Ukrainenu recently wrote about how China and the U.S. are fighting over access to rare minerals such as Lithium, titanium, and gold worldwide, where Ukraine has become a target due to its large reserves of several rare minerals. A new report from the International Energy Association, IEA, named “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions,” points out that these rare minerals are essential for the world’s green energy transition. Many rare minerals are used in clean energy such as Lithium in batteries. 

“As clean energy transitions accelerate globally and solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars are deployed on a growing scale, these rapidly growing markets for key minerals could be subject to price volatility, geopolitical influence and even disruptions to supply,” wrote Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA in the report. 

“Today’s supply and investment plans for many critical minerals fall well short of what is needed to support an accelerated deployment of solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. Many minerals come from a small number of producers. For example, in the cases of lithium, cobalt, and rare earth elements, the world’s top three producers control well over three-quarters of global output,” he wrote. 

Kina går efter sjældne mineraler: Bliver Ukraine næste stop?

Ukraine has some of the largest deposits

Ukraine is not one of the world’s largest producers of rare minerals but holds large untapped concentrations of rare minerals in the subsoil. The site Mining World points out that the only problem is that Ukraine is not doing anything to extract them and that the country needs investments from outside to reach its potential. 

“Ukraine’s subsurface resources include a concentration of around a hundred types of minerals, the market value of which is estimated by experts to reach $7.5 trillion USD. In total, Ukraine’s mineral resource base is formed of 20,000 deposits and ore manifestations, of which 7,800 are explored, and only 3,300 are being developed,” writes Mining World, “Ukraine harbors significant reserves of non-ferrous and rare-earth metals including unique deposits of beryllium, zirconium, tantalum, and a complex of phosphoric rare-earth and rare-metal ores.” 

“Ukraine’s confirmed reserves of lithium are the largest in Europe. The country also has a real opportunity to enter the global market with pure and ultra-pure metals such as gallium, indium, thallium, lead, and tin,” the site points out. 

World Data Center’s National Atlas of Ukraine also points out that the Ukrainian resources of rare minerals are unique and the largest in Europe. 

“Ukraine is a rare-metal province: the recoverable rare-metal resources are the biggest in Europe. The most important is Ukrainian shield with its 22 rare-metal formations. The most unique and large are such deposits: Perha of beryllium; Azov of zirconium and rare-earth series; Polokhivka, Stankuvate, and Shevchenko of lithium; Mazurivka of tantalum-niobium-zirconium ores,” the site points out. 

Ukraine is ready to business

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal recently said that Ukraine is ready to work with the EU “to harness Ukraine’s potential in the extractive industry to help the EU work together to build globally competitive value-added production chains.” UBN reports about growing interest internationally for the rare Ukrainian minerals, where the Ukrainian government is planning to issue a series of license auctions this year.

The government is preparing an Investment Atlas, according to UBN, which will map 30 rare mineral assets such as titanium, lithium, nickel, cobalt, chrome, tantalum, niobium, beryllium, zirconium, scandium, molybdenum, gold, and graphite around Ukraine. Furthermore, Ukraine’s State Property Fund also plans to auction the largest miner of ilmenite in Europe, United Mining and Chemical Company, this year. 

The energy company S&P Global Platts is one of the companies looking at the potential in Ukraine. They quote Roman Opimakh, head of Ukraine’s State Geological Service, for saying that Ukraine is experiencing interests from company’s located mainly in Turkey and Slovakia. Sergiy Tsivach, executive director of UkraineInvest, expects that Ukraine can attract 10 billion dollars in the development of around 24 mineral locations in the country.

“Ukraine is a natural partner to the EU. We have great untapped potential for building strategic and beneficial partnerships with EU,” said Opimakh at a presentation.