UK unveils critical minerals strategy and UKEF role

(Global Compliance News, London, 7 August 2022) On 22 July 2022, the UK government published a policy paper entitled “Resilience for the future: The UK’s critical minerals strategy” (UKCMS). The UKCMS outlines how the UK will secure critical mineral supply chains to ensure the energy transition. It also sets out the UK state support for domestic production of critical minerals as well as enabling the supply from third-party nations. Global transition to energy systems powered by clean energy technologies is one of the biggest transformational changes that the world is undergoing right now and is driving demand for minerals that are vital in the manufacturing of such technologies. A significant amount of state support and private investment into the critical minerals sector is required to match the demand with the supply. State support will focus on enabling the supply from third-party nations by making funding or other types of support available, with export credit agencies playing a key role. UKCMS also highlights the importance of the UKEF for funding critical minerals and expressly states that UKEF products can support eligible critical mineral projects, including UK-based projects with potential to export or overseas projects that present opportunities for export of UK goods and services.