America’s Shift Towards Bringing Mining Home

The United States and most other parts of the world heavily depend on China for critical raw mineral resources. As America ramps up efforts to meet renewable energy targets, demand for mineral resources should follow suit (see our last post on green energy and mining, here). In turn, America is looking to bring mineral supply closer to home. Below are a few news articles that introduce this complicated issue.

  1. The new U.S. plan to rival China and end cornering of market in rare earth metals (CNBC, 4/17)
    1. In 2019, China was responsible for supplying 80% of rare earth minerals. U.S. plans to ramp up domestic production and foster production with allied countries to compete.
  2. The human bottleneck in critical minerals supply chains (Reuters, 5/27)
    1. Public opinion is in favor of decarbonization but not of the mining industry, which poses challenges to new US goals for increasing domestic mining for critical minerals.
  3. Mining a Path to Rare-Earth Supply Chains (USNews, 5/27)
    1. Several steps are needed to generate rare-earth mineral supply chains, including permitting, mining, extraction of rare-earths from concentrates, preparation of clean pre-PLS (pregnant leach solution) mixed rare-earths products, and manufacturing.
  4. China’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth – For Rare Minerals (Forbes, 6/2)
    1. China continues to expand their critical mineral mining empire across the globe, as the US largely does not participate. The Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine in California is the only integrated rare-earth extraction and processing facility in North America. However, that number is expected to rise given increasing federal and corporate interest.
  5. U.S. Plans to Spend Big on Critical Minerals; Choosing Where Isn’t Easy (6/20)
    1. The Senate approved a bipartisan, $250 billion bill to fund technology research and development for mining and processing critical minerals in the US and with allied nations in order to catch up with China.