‘The United States must not remain reliant on foreign competitors like Russia and China for the critical minerals needed to keep our economy strong and our country safe’
The signing of the executive order makes steps towards achieving this. After the publication of the USGS report, Critical mineral resources of the United States—’Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply’ published at the end of 2017, 23 minerals were named critical to the country, including antimony, lithium, selenium, niobium and cobalt. There are no surprising minerals on the list which, also reflects the similar work undertaken at the EU Commission, looking at European reliance on foreign minerals.
The executive order looks at reducing the U.S’s vulnerability to supply disruptions, which can cause strategic weaknesses for security and prosperity. To do this, the U.S hopes to increase private sector domestic exploration, production, recycling and reprocessing of critical minerals.
Alaska has rich mineral resources, with 15 of the 23 named materials present, but protests are expected to take place. As in many jurisdictions, the disconnect between the love of high technology, such as smart phones, computers and even electric vehicles, and the realities of what it takes to provide the materials to make these products is sure to rear its head.
The CRM Alliance of which the MMTA is an active member, has submitted comments to the U.S Department of the Interior, underlining the importance of critical minerals for developed economies, policy lessons and mitigation strategies learnt from EU activities. The CRM Alliance is an EU representative body of primary producers, traders and associations of critical raw materials. Even if the CRM Alliance is an EU representative body, the CRM Alliance has vested interests in all matters concerning the critical raw materials it represents at both EU and International Levels.