9 Jan 2024 20:10

Russia proposing platform analogous to OPEC for solid minerals

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) - Russia is proposing the creation of a platform for solid minerals similar to OPEC's oil platform so that countries could jointly coordinate the turnover of minerals. This proposal was put forward by Russian Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov during the Future Minerals Forum, which is taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Kozlov proposed creating a deliberative platform with the participation of Russia, African and Middle Eastern countries on the exploration, mining and processing of critical types of minerals.

"Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria, the UAE, Yemen and Bahrain are the leaders of the global energy sector. Together, our countries control over half of the world's oil and natural gas reserves. We supply 53% of the world's oil and 26% of its gas. This situation will continue. However, changing technological patterns in the world creates an objective need for a new platform for solid minerals similar to OPEC's oil platform. This platform would allow effective coordination of our efforts and development of a joint technological policy in the field of management of 'minerals of the future'," Kozlov said.

The Minister emphasized that Russia is a global leader in raw materials, providing 27% of global production of platinum group metals, controlling 22% of global reserves of nickel, 13% of cobalt, 15% of titanium, 12% of tungsten, 9% of copper, 4% of rare earth metals and graphite. "The list is long: Russia has almost all critical metals. And we strive to form the longest possible processing chains, all the way to the final product. We are ready to share our experience and help our partners. Russia is open to all options for cooperation. We cannot just engage in mineral exploration and extraction, we are ready for bilateral technology transfer and we see this partnership primarily as a technological one," Kozlov said.

According to him, Russia has a large raw material base of rare-earth metals, which can meet current global demand for a period of more than 100 years. The country has created technologies for the production of separated rare earth oxides and is building industrial complexes to produce rare earth metals, including the most sought-after "magnetic" metals - praseodymium, neodymium, and dysprosium.

According to the Natural Resources Ministry, 160,000 tonnes of nickel and about 5,000 tonnes of cobalt are produced annually from the ores of Russian deposits. This makes Russia the third largest producer of these metals in the world. All mined ore is processed into metals and their compounds. In addition, Russia is one of the few countries that has a complete uranium processing chain - from ore to nuclear fuel. With 8% of the world's reserves, the country provides 35% of the world's production of enriched uranium and occupies a third of the world market for nuclear power plant fuel.