The shortage of minerals and metals is expected to affect seven core manufacturing industries and disrupt the entire supply chain, according to a new research report by PwC.

PwC’s ‘Minerals and metals scarcity in manufacturing: A ticking timebomb’ report recorded the impact that such a scarcity would have, and where, over the next five years.

The company surveyed large manufacturing businesses across manufacturing, chemicals, automotive, energy and renewable energy, aviation, metals, infrastructure and high-tech hardware.

Business leaders in the automotive, chemicals and energy sectors think they will be hit the hardest by this shortage.

Beryllium, cobalt, tantalum, flurospar and lithium are among the most ‘critical’ minerals and metals that could affect the manufacturing industry.

The risk of scarcity will rise significantly, leading to supply instability and potential disruptions across all sectors over the next five years, points out the report.

PwC global sustainability leader Malcolm Preston said, "Put simply, many businesses now recognise that we are living beyond the planet’s means. New business models will be fundamental to the ability to respond appropriately to the risks and opportunities posed by the scarcity of minerals and metals."