UK launches data centre for critical minerals

FILE PHOTO: Evaporation pools for extraction of lithium in Bolivia

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Monday launched a centre to gather data and analyse information on the supply of critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium, key for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The centre, to be run by the British Geological Survey, will use the data to help to find ways to source minerals needed for green technologies such as EVs and wind turbines, national defence and mobile phones.

"As the world shifts towards new green technologies, supply chains will become more competitive," minister for industry Lee Rowley said in a statement.

The first major work of the new Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre will be a study into future demand for and supply of minerals needed for EV batteries.

Britain aims to establish an EV industry but risks falling behind if it cannot build more battery factories.

A Critical Minerals Strategy for Britain will be published later this year, the statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by David Goodman)