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A range of critical minerals including lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite are required for manufacturing products in various industries. 

To date, sectors relating to net zero such as energy and transport have represented a small proportion of total mineral demand. However, it is projected that the transition to net zero will result in a significant increase in demand.

A small number of countries dominate the supply chain of critical minerals globally. The concentration of the supply chain can lead to issues in the international market for critical minerals including volatility in prices, and concerns regarding social issues, such as human rights abuses in the supply chain, and geopoltiical problems regarding trading with certain countries. 

The UK Government has taken several steps to support domestic capabilities and enhance international supplies of critical materials. There are several companies seeking to extract and process critical minerals in the UK. While these companies have benefited from Government support, the global market for these industries is highly competitive. 

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