The United Nations (UN) Working Group of Experts on Raw Materials has recently issued a press release drawing attention to the little-known but important role of raw materials in the COVID-19 pandemic.
With almost half of the world under lockdown, the continued supply of certain critical raw materials needed for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic has become a concern. The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and excipients of several drugs, including antibiotics incorporate minerals such as chromium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, nickel and many others. One example of a raw material widely used in the pharmaceutical industry is phosphate. It is also used in food additives and fertilizers. Phosphate is produced from phosphatic rocks and its primary production facilities are concentrated in a few countries. In situations like the current pandemic with an immediate supply crunch, identifying alternative local or regional sources is key.
The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and its expanded version under development, the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS), can be used to source critical raw materials from conventional and unconventional sources, either in multi-metal and multi-mineral deposits.
In addition to energy and non-energy raw materials, which are more closely related to mining, the UNFC has a specification specifically for anthropogenic resources, which can be used not only for mining waste issues but also for phosphate sources from sewage sludge, compost and sewage, related social and environmental to understand its benefits.
UNFC and UNRMS are therefore proper tools to increase the potential for rapid allocation of production opportunities between local, national, regional or global sources.
The Department of Data Repository and Mineral Resources Management of the Hungarian Mining and Geological Surcey registers mineral deposits and exploration areas and prognostic areas having potentially mineral resources. Several members of the MBFSZ participate in the UNECE Working Group of Expert Group on Resource Management and the MBFSZ also represents the European Geological Surveys (EuroGeoSurveys) in this Working Group.
More details: https://www.unece.org/?id=54209.