Director's Message

The Global Powerhouse of Rare MetalsResource - Industry - Value Chain

The Korea Institute for Rare Metals is an organization designed to establish the infrastructure for the nation’s rare metals industry.

Rare metals are often called "vitamins of industries" as they determine the quality and performance of cutting-edge products. As a resource-poor country, South Korea for the most part relies on imports to meet the demand for rare metal materials, and South Korea’s industrial and technological foundation is far from perfect. Therefore, there is an urgent need to establish a sustainable industrial ecosystem for rare metals.

Even when resources are obtained, the vulnerability in the resource flow cycle, “Resource → Materials → Products → Recycling,” makes the materialization and recycling of the resources difficult. In order to address this issue, KIRAM, with the support of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Incheon City, was established in January 2010 to complete the value chain of industrial ecosystem (“materials → components → finished products”) through the obtainment of rare metals as well as the establishment of solid base for the materials industry, and to play the role of a “control tower” in implementing government policies on rare metals.

Since its inauguration, KIRAM has been fully devoted to consolidating the foundation of the domestic rare metals industry, and three major areas of focus include establishing the industrial infrastructure, extending support to professionals, and setting up a world-leading infrastructure. It has also successfully reinforced international cooperation by launching "the International Joint Council of Rare Metals" in 2011 and introducing a safety device to cope with supply fluctuation.

KIRAM plans to expand the horizon of advanced technologies by disseminating rare metal technologies and also consistently consolidate the rare metals industry by means of supporting materialization, recycling technology, and relevant industrial infrastructure. At the same time, KIRAM will remain fully committed to enhancing the industrial structure by inducing firms with demand and nurturing the industrial ecosystem, and make sustained efforts in fostering specialized companies, generating employment, and devising regulations and special policies on the rare metals industry.

KIRAM will pave the way toward making South Korea a global powerhouse of the rare metals industry.

Thank you!

Director of the Korea Institute for Rare Metals