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Home  >  Journal list  >  MATERIALS TRANSACTIONS  >  Vol.56  No.2 (2015)  >  pp.229-235

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Criticality Assessment of Metals for Japan’s Resource Strategy

Hiroki Hatayama1), Kiyotaka Tahara1)
1) Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Criticality assessment of metals has been developed to analyze a country’s supply risk and vulnerability to supply restriction. This study presents Japan’s criticality of 22 metals during 2012. Whereas a past assessment focused only on minor metals, evaluation targets here included both common and minor metals. In addition, a new analytic method included mineral interest sufficiency as a criticality component. The evaluation framework developed in this study included 13 criticality components within five risk categories: supply risk, price risk, demand risk, recycling restriction, and potential risk. Weighting factors were used to aggregate components into a single score. This framework reflects a recent government announcement about Japan’s resource strategy. High criticality was found for neodymium, dysprosium, and indium due to a recent increase in demand. Niobium also had high criticality due to production concentration in Brazil. There were few differences in the aggregated criticality scores between the other minor metals and common metals. For minor metals, aggregated criticality was mainly increased by production concentration and recycling difficulty. For common metals, aggregated criticality was increased by short depletion time and growth in global mine production. Compared with a previous study, in 2012 the criticality of tungsten and tantalum were lower due to reduced domestic demand. The analytic methods and results presented in this study will be useful in developing Japan’s resource strategy.

criticality, supply risk, price risk, demand risk, recycling restriction, potential risk, vulnerability, resource strategy

Received: October 28, 2014
Accepted: November 10, 2014 , Published online: January 25, 2015



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