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Minerals shortage could cause major disruption

Seven core manufacturing industries could be seriously affected by a shortage of minerals and metals

Such a shortage could disrupt entire supply chains and economies, according to new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) research. PwC surveyed some of the largest manufacturing businesses across manufacturing, chemicals, automotive, energy/renewable energy, aviation, metals, infrastructure and high-tech hardware to see what impact such a scarcity would have, and where, over the next five years. Of these, business leaders in automotive, chemicals, and energy sectors fear they will be hit hardest according to PwC's Minerals and metals scarcity in manufacturing: A 'ticking timebomb', report.

Among the minerals & metals on the 'critical' list are beryllium, cobalt, tantalum, flurospar and lithium. The risk of scarcity across all sectors is expected to rise significantly, leading to supply instability and potential disruptions in the next five years, but this will also create opportunities for competitive advantage, the report says.