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Geopolitics of mineral resources: Competition and international cooperation

Zrzut ekranu 2023-08-3 o 10.19.44

Geopolitics of mineral resources: Competition and international cooperation

Mineral resources have been a cornerstone of the global economy for centuries, providing the raw materials necessary for the production of many goods and technologies. The modern development of industry, digital technologies, electric car production and renewable energy sources has reinforced the importance of these raw materials. Therefore, the geopolitics of mineral resources has become an important element of international relations, and the need for cooperation and rivalry between states over access to these resources is increasingly apparent.

Raw material strategies of states – Seeking security of supply

Countries around the world are trying to ensure their raw material security, understood as certainty of supply and stable prices for mineral resources. To this end, they are developing strategies that involve active diplomatic, trade and investment policies to secure access to key raw materials. Some countries are seeking diverse sources of supply, while others are focusing on developing their own resources or establishing strategic partnerships with countries with rich deposits.

The race for rare earth minerals – A new era of technology

Rare minerals such as lanthanum, neodymium and europium are essential for the production of advanced technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, smartphones and many other electronic devices. Control over access to these raw materials is becoming a concern for many countries. The race for rare earth minerals is leading to increased international cooperation, but also to growing tensions and rivalries.

Paradoxically, the possession of rich mineral resources can become a cause of internal and international conflicts. The concept of the resource curse refers to the situation when, instead of bringing prosperity, the presence of valuable resources causes political instability, corruption and conflict. Owners of these resources can face problems such as corruption, dependence on a single source of income, social inequality and tensions over resource control.

International cooperation and environmental protection – Environmental dilemmas

The significant increase in demand for mineral resources has a direct impact on the environment. The extraction, transportation and processing of these raw materials often involve pollution and degradation of ecosystems. In this context, international cooperation can be a key tool in the search for solutions that both secure access to resources and also take care of environmental protection.

Summary – Cooperation as the foundation of the future

The geopolitics of mineral resources is an increasingly complex and important area of international relations. Competition for access to key raw materials can lead to tensions, conflicts and environmental challenges. International cooperation, based on ethics and responsibility, is becoming a key foundation for a future mineral resource economy. Only through dialogue, partnerships and joint action can sustainable development in the use of these resources be achieved that is consistent with global interests.

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