• Biden Administration Recognizes that Supply Chain Security Starts with Minerals Security

Biden Administration Recognizes that Supply Chain Security Starts with Minerals Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) today applauded President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains which contains directives that are specific to our domestic minerals supply chains and recognize the key role that minerals play in securing the availability of critical and essential goods and materials.

“We can’t import our way to economic and national security; we have to establish that security literally from the ground up by using American-mined materials produced by American workers under world-leading environmental standards,” said Rich Nolan, NMA President and CEO. “The President clearly recognizes the threat and is acting to protect against the exposure that exists in our energy, national security, manufacturing and medical supply chains given our overreliance on imports for the building blocks of these key industries.”

According to the USGS’ Mineral Commodity Summaries 2021, U.S. import dependence for key mineral commodities has doubled over the past two decades with the U.S. now 100 percent import-reliant for 17 key minerals and more than 50 percent import-reliant for an additional 29 key mineral commodities. That import reliance exists despite the fact that we have significant mineral deposits of some of these commodities within our borders. U.S. mineral import reliance continues to increase just as mineral demand from essential industries – such as energy and transportation – is expected to soar. The World Bank sees mineral demand for advanced energy technologies jumping 500% by midcentury.

The Executive Order and accompanying fact sheet contain the following language specific to minerals mining:

  • “The Secretary of Defense… shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials… and policy recommendations to address these risks.  The report shall also describe and update work done pursuant to Executive Order 13953 of September 30, 2020 (Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries).”
  • “‘Critical minerals” has the meaning given to that term in Executive Order 13953 of September 30, 2020 (Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries).”
  • “‘Supply chain,” when used with reference to minerals, includes the exploration, mining, concentration, separation, alloying, recycling, and reprocessing of minerals.”
  • “Critical minerals are an essential part of defense, high-tech, and other products. From rare earths in our electric motors and generators to the carbon fiber used for airplanes—the United States needs to ensure we are not dependent upon foreign sources or single points of failure in times of national emergency.”
  • “By identifying supply chain risks, we can meet the President’s commitment to accelerate U.S. leadership of clean energy technologies. For example, while the U.S. is a net exporter of electric vehicles, we are not a leader in the supply chain associated with electric battery production. The U.S. could better leverage our sizeable lithium reserves and manufacturing know-how to expand domestic battery production.”

 

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