Critical raw materials

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HREEs

LREEs

Germanium

Borate

Strontium

Natural Graphite

Bauxite

Indium

Lithium

Coking coal

Flourspar

Baryte

Gallium

Hafnium

Tantalum

Silicon

Phosphate rock

Natural rubber

Titanium

Vanadium

Antimony

Bismuth

Berylium

PGMs

Cobalt

Tungsten

Scandium

Phosphorous

Niobium

Magnesium

Supply risk

Economic importance

Critical Raw Materials

Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are raw materials deemed economically and strategically important for the economy of the European Union (or any country with a similar policy to this effect), and have a high-risk associated with their supply. Criticality is not derived from scarcity, but rather through the covalence between significant economic importance, high-supply risk and the lack of lack of feasible substitutes.

Drago

Dracaena draco, the Canary Islands dragon tree or drago, is a subtropical tree. It is native to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira, and western Morocco as well as to much of the scenes of the classical imaginary of the Hesperides Garden. It was revered by local peasants and its blooming fearfully observed for its forecast: "[i]f the tree flourished on the north side, the year was rainy in the highlands; if on the south, drought was to be expected. And woe to our fields when the dragon trees did not bloom! An observer noted that in 1851 all dragon trees bloomed in August - followed by the most dreadful drought on the island. However, the following winter rains were copious, which covered the coastal areas and the midlands with the greenest fields." 1


  1. Rodríguez, L (1947). Los Arboles Históricos y Tradicionales de Canarias. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: La Prensa, pp. 105-6. 

Free Trade Zones

Free Trade Zones, Special Economic Zones, Foreign Trade Zones, Export Oriented zones, or just Free Zones are one of the many dirty secrets of modernity.1 They are enclaves carved out of national territories and granted administrative and/or economic policies found nowhere else in national territories. Used as a weapon to de-industrialise occupied economies, Free Ports transformed territories into underdeveloped peripheries reliant upon resource extraction and tariff-free trade.2 After the Cold War, Free Trade Zones (arguably, resulting from the evolution of Free Ports) became a mandatory recipe and prescription from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to secure bailouts. Labour in this zones is disposable at "any moment, "at any moment or for any reason or hint of a reason."3


  1. Tazzara, C. (2018) 'Capitalism and the Special Economic Zone, 1590-2014', in Fredona, R. and Reinert, S.A. (eds.) New perspectives on the history of political economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 75-102. 

  2. Easterling, K. (2014) Extrastatecraft: the Power of Infraestructure Space. London and New York: Verso 

  3. Bolaño, R. (2004) 2666. Barcelona: Anagrama. 

Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been described by developmental economists as budgetary time bombs.1 Technically, they are long-term contractual arrangements whereby institutional investors and asset managers agree to finance and manage certain public services such as hospitals, highways, energy production plants, housing, or the supply of water and sewage - in so far as state bear the brunt of some or all associated risks.


  1. Samba Sylla, D. & Gabor, D. (2021) "Planting budgetary time bombs in Africa: the Macron Doctrine En Marche," Committe for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt cadtm.org, 14 January [Online].