US Needs More Mines to Boost Rare Earths Supply Chain, Pentagon Says

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Wheel loaders capable    trucks with ore astatine  the MP Materials uncommon  world  excavation  successful  Mountain Pass, Calif., connected  Jan. 30, 2020. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Wheel loaders capable trucks with ore astatine the MP Materials uncommon world excavation successful Mountain Pass, Calif., connected Jan. 30, 2020. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

The United States and state nations should excavation and process much rare earths to guarantee capable planetary proviso of the strategical minerals for subject and commercialized uses, a U.S. Department of Defense authoritative said connected Tuesday.

The remarks underscore the Pentagon’s rising involvement successful public-private mining partnerships to antagonistic China’s presumption arsenic the apical planetary shaper of uncommon earths, the 17 minerals utilized to marque specialized magnets for weaponry and electrical vehicles (EVs).

“We cognize we cannot resoluteness our shared vulnerability to proviso concatenation hazard without a adjacent concern with industry,” Danielle Miller of the Pentagon’s Office of Industrial Policy told the Adamas Intelligence North American Critical Minerals Days conference.

“New superior accumulation of strategical and captious minerals—in a word, mining—is a necessity to summation resilience successful planetary proviso chains.”

Miller cited caller investments successful U.S. uncommon world projects nether improvement by MP Materials Corp, Urban Mining Co, and a associated task of Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths Ltd and Blue Line Corp arsenic grounds of the Pentagon’s tendency to beryllium a “patient, strategical investor” successful backstage industry.

“Domestic accumulation of strategical and captious materials is the eventual hedge against the hazard of deliberate non-market interference successful extended overseas proviso chains,” Miller said, a apt notation to China’s hints it could curtail uncommon world exports to the United States.

“We are nether nary illusions astir the competing pressures facing” the U.S. mining industry.

Miller besides said the Pentagon wants to assistance mining companies successful state nations “create a communal knowing of sustainability.” U.S. biology standards for mining are among the tightest successful the world.

“We privation to enactment with (miners) to accelerate the modulation from the lowest cost, technically acceptable sourcing, to 1 that reflects our values,” Miller said.

By Ernest Scheyder

Reuters

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