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  • Puzzle pieces of Chinese and U.S. flags over a globe.

    Critical minerals cold war heats up

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 19, 2024

    Massive geothermal lithium reserves give U.S. leverage while superpowers employ protectionist measures around supply chains. There's a new international race, not into space or to establish military superiority, but to secure critical minerals in a worldwide resource grab for the feedstocks that will fuel a global green energy transition. While we're all on the same side – or, in this case, the same planet – the superpowers have been at odds with how to achieve net-zero... Full story

  • An ore hauling ship being loaded at an industrial facility at night.

    US remains reliant on mineral imports

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Despite investing billions of dollars, US continues to rely heavily on China and others for its supply of critical minerals. The 2024 edition of U.S. Geological Survey's annual Mineral Commodity Summaries shows the United States has made little headway in breaking its reliance on China and other overseas nations for the minerals and metals critical to the nation's clean energy ambitions, economic well-being, and defense. "Our mineral import dependence continues to be a gaping...

  • Fully equipped army soldier enters area with smoke and fire at night.

    Pentagon prioritizes critical minerals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Reshoring mineral supply chains lost to globalization is a key part of DOD National Defense Industrial Strategy The urgency to onshore critical mineral supply chains in the United States has begun to shift away from a need to secure reliable sources of the minerals and metals needed to support the nation's economy and clean energy ambitions toward the need for these same mined commodities to defend American ideals and interests at home and abroad. "Establishing a fully... Full story

  • South Dakota map with lithium pellets, compass, and pick

    South Dakota's lithium tax inches closer

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    In what may be a watershed moment for U.S. state laws regarding critical mineral mining, South Dakota Rep. Kirk Chaffee has taken a second swing at taxing lithium, and this time it may stick. Last year, a similar effort to classify lithium as an energy mineral passed the state House but was rejected in the Senate. The current bill, for which Chaffee is the main sponsor, classifies South Dakota's future lithium as a precious metal and imposes a 10% tax on mining profits, with...

  • David Turk testifies during a Senate committee hearing.

    Senators grill Turk on mine investments

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 31, 2024

    Sens. Murkowski, Manchin contend administration is misinterpreting Congress intent when it comes to funding domestic mining projects. While the U.S. Department of Energy is investing billions of taxpayer dollars into establishing robust battery material processing and battery manufacturing capacity in the United States, the federal agency has done little to support domestic mines that would feed critical minerals into domestic electric vehicle supply chains. Sen. Lisa Murkowsk...

  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal on an American flag backdrop.

    Department of homeland mineral security

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 1, 2024

    Agency founded to fight terrorism views mining and critical minerals as vital to economic, national security of the homeland. For most Americans, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conjures up images of an intelligence agency borne from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that employs TSA airport screenings, border checkpoints, and internet monitoring to protect Americans from terrorist threats, both foreign and domestic. And these airport, border,... Full story

  • A geologist uses a hammer to break off rocks to sample for critical minerals.

    USGS invests millions in critical minerals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 16, 2023

    In 2023 alone, the federal geological survey invested $51M into Earth MRI scans of 35 states as part of a nationwide critical minerals search. From rare earths in Northern Maine to lithium in Southern California and titanium in Florida to 29 critical minerals in Alaska, the United States Geological Survey is investing heavily in strengthening domestic supply chains for the 50 minerals and metals critical to every sector of the American economy. This nationwide search for...

  • President Joe Biden at a GM auto factory in Michigan.

    DOE redefines foreign entity of concern

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Reinterpretation of FEOC widens pool of potential critical mineral sources eligible for federal tax credits, funds. The Biden administration needs help understanding the meaning of "foreign entity of concern" (FEOC) as this term relates to investing billions of taxpayer dollars into bolstering the supply chains for materials critical to electric vehicles and renewable energy. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act allotted billions of dollars for... Full story

  • Closeup of RapidSX rare earth separation columns filled with colorful liquids.

    Ottawa backs RapidSX rare earths plant

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    Ucore is awarded C$4.3 million to produce magnet REEs for EVs and other high-tech uses at its demo plant in Ontario. To support the commercialization of a technology poised to help break North America's dependence on China for rare earths critical to the clean energy and technology sectors, the Canadian government has awarded Ucore Rare Metals Inc. C$4.28 million (US$3.1 million) to demonstrate the capabilities of its RapidSX rare earths separation platform. "We would like to...

  • Infographic showing all the minerals and metals in an electric vehicle battery.

    China adds graphite to export restrictions

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 10, 2023

    Following gallium, germanium curbs, China announces plan to restrict its exports of critical lithium-ion battery material on Dec 1. Three months into its restrictions on exports of the critical computer chipmaking metals gallium and germanium, China announced that it will also be limiting global shipments of graphite, the largest single ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. On Oct. 20, China's Ministry of Commerce posted notices that the exports of nine...

  • Closeup of the gallium and germanium entries on the periodic table of elements.

    China's gallium, germanium exports hit zero

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 20, 2023

    August stoppage is due to timeline to gain approvals under new export limitation process; longer-term curbs yet to be known. While gallium and germanium exports out of China dropped to zero during August, it is too early to determine just how restrictive the government plans to be on shipping this pair of semiconductor elements out of the country, or the impacts such export curbs will have on the manufacturing of computer chips, fiber optic cables, and other high-tech goods... Full story

  • Closeup of EV plugged into charging station.

    IEA critical minerals strategy emerges

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 11, 2023

    Delegates agree on six actions to strengthen and diversify critical energy mineral supply chains. The rapid transition away from the fossil fuels that powered the world through the 20th century and toward lower-carbon sources such as wind and solar is creating enormous new demands for critical minerals and metals like cobalt, copper, lithium, and nickel. This interdependency was highlighted during the first-ever International Energy Agency Critical Minerals and Clean Energy...

  • Road sign pointing to Japan and Canada.

    Canada, Japan forge battery alliance

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 5, 2023

    A flurry of industry partnerships on battery material projects followed landmark alliance between nations. In a move that aligns Canada's rich minerals endowment with Japan's battery-making expertise, the two countries have entered into a historic battery supply chain agreement. "Canada and Japan are committed to advancing our shared ambitions to develop sustainable and reliable global battery supply chains," said Canada Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry...

  • Wooden tiles of the elements on the periodic table.

    DOE allots $150M for critical minerals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 3, 2023

    Seeking to curb the United States' heavy dependence on imports for critical minerals, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing $150 million to support the domestic production of these mined materials essential to clean energy, high-tech manufacturing, and the nation's general economic well-being. "The investments announced today enhance national security by reducing our reliance on foreign sources-while strengthening an existing mining and energy workforce to develop...

  • A soldier launches a small, winged Raven drone during tactical training.

    Pentagon pulls US battery supply chain

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 26, 2023

    Invests $30 million in energy storage systems campus; is aligning military and private sector buying power to speed technology transition in US. The U.S. Department of Defense is investing $30 million to establish an energy storage systems campus that will serve as the headquarters for a U.S. military-private sector alliance to accelerate the transition to next-generation batteries powering everything from smartphones and household appliances to electric vehicles and military...

  • Hummer EV military prototype charging through mud.

    DOD invests $110.6M in battery projects

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 22, 2023

    Grants DPA Title III funds to support Albemarle lithium, Tamarack nickel projects in the US. Continuing its mission to establish domestic lithium-ion battery supply chains, the U.S. Department of Defense is investing more than $110 million to support lithium and nickel projects in the United States. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Industrial Base Policy, through its Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP), announced on Sept. 12 that...

  • A U.S. Army soldier stands in a cloud of smoke during night training exercises.

    Pentagon ups Idaho antimony investment

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    Awards Perpetua additional $15M to help establish a mine-to-munition antimony supply chain that begins at Stibnite Gold project in Idaho. As part of its commitment to establishing domestic supplies of the minerals and metals critical to America's economy and security, the U.S. Department of Defense is investing another $15.5 million to help establish an antinomy supply chain that begins at Perpetua Resources Corp.'s Stibnite Gold project in Idaho. Used in a wide range of...

  • A silver-colored gallium crystal that shows signs of its low melting point.

    Gallium, germanium supply safety nets

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 26, 2023

    Technology metal brokers in the US and Germany say they have stores of both metals to meet tech needs following curbs on Chinese exports. Technology metal brokers in the United States and Europe are providing safety nets for companies seeking reliable supplies of gallium and germanium as global supply disruptions loom. Earlier this month, China announced that starting on Aug. 1 it will be placing government-controlled restrictions on the exports of this pair of semiconductor m...

  • Piles of white lithium reflect off placid water at the Salinas Grandes Mine.

    IEA: more energy minerals work to do

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2023

    The International Energy Agency's Inaugural Critical Minerals Market Review provides insights into the progress made, challenges ahead. The International Energy Agency is cautiously optimistic about the progress made so far along the expanding supply chains for the minerals critical to electric vehicles and renewable energy. Like the global energy markets it represents, the IEA is transitioning its analysis and policy advocacy toward the clean energy future, and now provides... Full story

  • Metallic-looking tiles for gallium and germanium on the periodic table.

    China to ban chipmaking metal exports

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 6, 2023

    Going back to its 2010 rare earths playbook, China will ban gallium and germanium exports without state approval. Reminiscent of export restrictions that sent the price of rare earth elements through the roof in 2010, China has announced that it is placing state-controlled restrictions on the export of two technology metals vital to chipmaking – gallium and germanium. On July 2, China's Ministry of Commerce posted notices that the exports of eight gallium and six germanium... Full story

  • Aerial view of the surface mine facilities at the Idaho Cobalt Operation.

    DOD invest $15M to support Idaho Cobalt

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    Jervois will use the DPA Title III funds to expand cobalt deposit in Idaho, finalize study for domestic refinery. To shore up domestic supplies of the cobalt needed for military hardware and green energy, the U.S. Department of Defense is investing $15 million to support the work of Jervois Mining USA to expand mining at its Idaho Cobalt Operations and potentially establish a refinery in the U.S. Foreseeing a sharp rise in the demand for cobalt in the United States as...

  • Closeup of a bundle of copper wire strands.

    US lawmakers: Copper is critical, period

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    Arizona lawmaker defies USGS with bill that would elevate copper onto the list of minerals deemed critical to the US. Copper is critical – this is the message a group of Western lawmakers is sending to the U.S. Geological Survey with the Copper is Critical Act. This bill, which was introduced to the House by Congressman Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., on June 8, consists of one sentence that defines minerals critical to the United States as copper and whatever other minerals,... Full story

  • USGS geologist samples a mineralized outcrop on treeless slope in Alaska.

    USGS funds new Earth MRI scans in Alaska

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated May 23, 2023

    Home to deposits and prospects enriched with 49 out of the 50 minerals deemed critical to the United States, Alaska is the single best state in the nation to explore for the minerals and metals needed for clean energy, electric vehicles, high-tech devices, and military hardware. To gain a better understanding of the 49th State's critical minerals potential, the U.S. Geological Survey is investing an additional $5.8 million to explore specific regions of the state in 2023....

  • The shape of a phoenix drawn into a pile of coal fly ash.

    Transforming a lump of coal into an EV

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    DOE funds studies into processes for recovering rare earths and other critical minerals from coal waste streams and acid mine drainage. Looking to develop unconventional domestic sources of the rare earths needed for America's transition to low-carbon energy and transportation, while also providing forward-leaning job opportunities for the coal miners that powered the nation for more than a century, the U.S. Department of Energy is providing $16 million for the development of...

  • EV tax credit timeline may be too short

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Mar 28, 2023

    American electric vehicle manufacturers are under pressure from the massive federal legislation aimed at creating a robust domestic value chain for several key battery minerals and rare earths. These materials are predominantly being imported for EV batteries – as well as the battery cells themselves in many cases – from problematic sources like China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Russia. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed by Congress in August 2022... Full story

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