EU launches a Critical Raw Material Act – the proposal will impact Norwegian mining legislation
The European Commission put forward a proposed Critical Raw Materials Act 16th March 2023, aiming to ensure the EU's access to a secure supply of critical raw materials, being indispensable within the green technology initiative.
The Regulation’s overall goal is to encourage Member States to carry out Strategic Mineral Projects involving minerals such as e.g. Copper, Titanium, Nickel – battery grade, Lithium – battery grade, and Rare Earth Elements for magnets.
The aim for the EU’s extraction capacity is set to be at least 10 % of the Union’s consumption of strategic raw materials. Additionally, an aim for the European Union is to be able to produce at least 40 % of the Union’s annual consumption of strategic raw materials. The goal is to reach these benchmarks by 2030, which is quite ambitious considering that the EU today largely depends on the import of critical raw materials from non-EU countries.
Furthermore, the Regulation obligates Member States to designate one national competent authority to function as a «One stop shop», facilitating and coordinating the permit-granting process for critical raw material projects. This national competent authority shall be the sole point of contact in the permit granting process. The Regulation also establishes a maximum duration for the permit granting projects, e.g. 24 months for Strategic Projects involving extraction.
The EU’s current ambitious policies on electrification and green technology will certainly influence the comprehensive Norwegian permit processes in a more effective direction. We will follow the developments with great interest and are curious as to how an adoption on EU level will affect the Norwegian legislator’s work on the proposal of a new Minerals Act, which was put forward last year.
The proposed Regulation will be discussed and agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union before its adoption and entry into force. It is of EEA-relevance and will be discussed in the EEA-Joint Committee once the Regulation is adopted.
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