With a growing population, increasing GDP levels and improving lifestyles, we’re consuming more and more. Renewable and non-renewable resources—energy, water, land, minerals—are in ever-higher demand. And since the relationships between these resources are strong, both the causes of, and the solutions to scarcity are complex. Which, for a manufacturing organisation with a global supply chain, can spell trouble.
In Minerals and metals scarcity in manufacturing: The ticking time bomb, we explore the impact that minerals and metals scarcity is likely to have on seven manufacturing industries. We interviewed senior executives in many of the leading organisations that are central to the future growth of these industries to gauge the relevance and effects of this scarcity.
We found that the supply of many minerals and metals is struggling to keep up with rapid increases in consumption, resulting in price hikes and delivery delays. For example, dysprosium, an essential component of super magnets, and tantalum, an important component in aircraft and medical equipment, automotive electronics, mobile phones and LCD screens, have both experienced explosive price increases in recent years.
Resource scarcity is becoming a central issue on the policy agenda for many governing bodies:
For a large majority of the companies we interviewed, efficiency and collaboration throughout the supply chain are seen as essential to responding to the risk. While the effects of scarcity can cause stress at any link of the supply chain, it is especially evident as you move down the supply chain.
Data information, recycling technology, substitution technology and regulation are all considered required elements of any response to the issue of minerals and metals scarcity.