Founded at the initiative of the government following the Varin report on the supply of strategic metals, the French Observatory of Mineral Resources for Industrial Sectors (OFREMI) has just been launched.
29 November 2022
Logo de l'OFREMI (Observatoire français des ressources minérales pour les filières industrielles).

OFREMI logo (Observatoire français des ressources minérales pour les filières industrielles).

© BRGM

Mineral intelligence to secure supplies for French industry

The French Observatory of Mineral Resources for Industrial Sectors (OFREMI) has been officially launched in Paris, witnessed by Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition, and Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry. Initiated by the government following the Varin report on securing supplies of critical metals, this observatory combines the knowledge and experience of the main French players in analysing the value chains of strategic metals.

Involving public authorities and the main industrial sectors, it will provide its partners with a strategic, economic and technical watch on global supply chains and the current and future needs of the industrial sector in order to produce the risk analyses needed for any investment decision.

Develop and share strategic and prospective analysis tools

Led by BRGM, OFREMI also draws on the expertise of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), the French Petroleum and New Energies Institute (IFPEN), the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) and the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM).

Launched with the support of the Mining and Metallurgy Strategic Committee (CSF), OFREMI's mission is to strengthen the resilience and sovereignty of France's strategic industrial sectors by helping them to secure their mineral resource supplies.

With geopolitical tensions and energy and digital transition policies increasing our need for mineral resources, geopolitical, social, logistical and even climatic disruptions are weakening our supply lines and threatening our sovereignty and the autonomy of our industrial sectors. Faced with this situation, OFREMI will make it possible to develop and pool strategic and prospective analysis tools in order to provide public and private players with analytical elements before decisions are taken.

Nickel ore, New Caledonia

Key figures

  • 25.00
    experts

  • 6.00
    partner institutions

  • 5.00
    fields of application: market economics, resource geology, key technologies, geopolitical risks, environmental impacts

  • 1.00
    direct line for emergencies

Cover the entire value chain, from supply to demand, for the various French industrial sectors

There was no structure in France for developing ongoing technical-economic and strategic analyses of the issue of raw material supplies covering the entire value chain, from supply to demand, for the various French industrial sectors.  By bringing together the main experts in these fields, OFREMI will make it possible to provide public authorities and industrial sectors with high added-value, multidisciplinary strategic analyses on an ongoing basis to fuel collective reflection and enable the identification of potentially hidden weaknesses, the diversification of supply lines and possible investment decisions”, explains Christophe Poinssot, Deputy Director General of BRGM, who led the development of the Observatory.

A heap of salt in the Uyuni salt desert, Bolivia

The launch of the French Observatory of Mineral Resources for Industrial Sectors, which I called for, is excellent news. I want it to arm our national mining, industrial and energy strategy, in order to increase our control over the critical metals value chain. This is essential to accelerate our energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This is why I have been fighting this battle for several years, both in France and at the European level.

Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition

Provide a quick overview for public and economic players

In addition to the substantive actions, a “hotline” will also be created to respond quickly to the needs of industry or government. “With OFREMI, we will be able to mobilise a multidisciplinary work force of around 25 experts spread across the 6 partner institutions and covering the fields of market economics, resource geology, key technologies of today and tomorrow for industry, and the management of geopolitical risks or environmental impacts. If tensions were to arise or a crisis to occur, we would be able to provide rapid insight to help public and economic players define the best possible responses,” emphasises Stéphane Bourg, Director of OFREMI within BRGM.

“The Observatory's work programme will be determined by all the stakeholders, both public (representing all the ministries involved in raw materials issues) and private, such as the French aeronautics and space industries grouping (GIFAS), the union of metallurgical industries and trades (UIMM) and the automotive platform (PFA),” insists Bruno Jacquemin, General Delegate of the Ore, Minerals and Metals Alliance (A3M for alliance minerais, minéraux, métaux) and permanent delegate of the CSF Mines & Métallurgie, who is heavily involved in structuring OFREMI's private partnerships.

Rare metal pegmatite, Haute-Vienne

It is my profound conviction that to re-industrialise France, we must focus on low-carbon industry, which is the technological frontier of the future. This industry will rely heavily on critical metals, essential components of batteries, electric motors or electronic chips, for which it will be crucial to secure supplies to face the unexpected events of a more uncertain world economy. It will be equally crucial that the exploitation of these resources to enable the ecological transition be carried out in a responsible manner, with the same environmental standards throughout the world, whether in Europe or elsewhere. This ambitious strategy requires the collaboration of all: scientists, industrialists, financiers and diplomats. It is the role of the Observatory we are launching today to bring them all together to achieve this ambitious objective of ensuring a resilient and responsible supply of critical metals for French industry.

Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry

Launch of OFREMI - 29 November 2022

The OFREMI (French observatory of mineral resources for industrial sectors) was launched on 29 November 2022 in the presence of the Ministers for Energy Transition, Ms Pannier-Runacher, and Industry, Mr Lescure. Initiated by the government following the Varin report on securing supplies of critical metals, and supported by BRGM, this observatory brings together the skills of the main French players in strategic metals.

 

  • Introduction by Philippe Varin
  • Speech by Agnès Pannier-Runacher
  • Speech by Roland Lescure
  • Speech by Michelle Rousseau, President of BRGM
  • Speech by Christel Bories, President of ERAMET
  • Presentation of OFREMI by Christophe Poinssot, Deputy CEO of BRGM, and Stéphane Bourg, Director of OFREMI
  • Round table of OFREMI members
  • Round table of representatives of industrial sectors
  • Round table of representatives of ministries
  • Conclusion by Peter Handley of the European Commission

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