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  • Chess board representing trade maneuvering between U.S. and China.

    Rhetoric will not fill US mineral needs

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    With the world-class deposits already found within its borders, the United States has the potential to be a major global producer of copper, lithium, and the other minerals and metals critical to the clean energy transition. Realizing this potential, however, will require reserves of political will in Washington, DC, that match the nation's domestic energy metals endowment, according to R Street Institute. "Despite political rhetoric and policies promoting the use of domestic...

  • Golden Gate Bridge disappears into low clouds over San Francisco Bay.

    Bridge to the US lithium battery future

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    Li-Bridge alliance unveils blueprint to build resilient US lithium battery supply chain. A wide chasm lies between where the United States is today and securing the lithium battery mineral resources and manufacturing capacity required to achieve ambitious visions of a green energy future where electric vehicles are charged with low-carbon energy. An alliance of America's national laboratories and more than 40 companies representing the entire lithium battery supply chain have...

  • Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech at Vitals’ REE plant.

    Trudeau tours Vital rare earths plant

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    In a show of support for Canadian production of the minerals critical to clean energy technologies, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Vital Metals Ltd.'s rare earth processing facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. "The world wants clean technology, and Canada has the resources, the expertise, and the skilled workers to meet that demand," Trudeau said during his Jan. 16 stop in Saskatchewan. "By developing and processing our critical minerals here in Canada – the f...

  • 20 Battery companies awarded $2.8 billion

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2023

    The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.8 billion in grants for 20 projects to expand the domestic manufacturing of materials for lithium batteries powering electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. Here is a brief rundown of the grants and projects under this American-made battery materials initiative. 6K Inc. will receive $50 million in federal funds and plans to invest another $57.4 million to demonstrate the ability to domestically produce NMC 811 and lithium... Full story

  • 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, e... 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...

  • Rubidoux sandstone outcropping the southern Missouri Ozark Mountains.

    USGS scours Ozarks for critical minerals

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

    To gain a better understanding of the potential for critical minerals in the Ozarks, the U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with Arkansas and Missouri geologists on a $2.75 million program that will result in collecting "the largest continuous swath of geophysical data in the United States focused on critical mineral resources." This program is being carried out under the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, or Earth MRI, a partnership between the USGS, Association of... Full story

  • Biden under “A Future Made in America” banner at GM’s Factory Zero.

    DOE seeks input on US critical materials

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

    Recognizing the meteoric rise in demand for minerals and metals critical to electric vehicles, renewable energy, and the American economy at large, the U.S. Department of Energy is requesting public input on the development and implementation of a $675 million critical materials research, development, demonstration, and commercialization program. Funded by the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program is being established to address vulnerabilities in the... Full story

  • An old road closed barricade on an overgrown roadway.

    Sen. Sullivan halts Defense nominees

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

    U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is holding up the nominations of three senior Department of Defense nominees until he gets some answers on why the Biden administration pulled the permits for a road to the Ambler Mining District, a region of Alaska with deposits of copper, cobalt, zinc, and other minerals critical to the renewable energy and defense technologies. The Alaska senator made the announcement while questioning two of the nominees – Radha Plumb, nominated to b... Full story

  • A U.S. special forces soldier in a billow of smoke during a night patrol.

    Pentagon looks to Idaho for antimony

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

    Perpetua receives two DOD grants to study military-grade antimony from Stibnite, ID Geopolitical tensions with China and Russia's war with Ukraine has the Pentagon concerned about securing domestic supplies of antimony, a metal-like element that is critical to military hardware and emerging renewable energy storage technologies. To investigate the potential of securing this supply from an Idaho antimony mine that was attributed to saving 1 million American soldiers during... Full story

  • Yellow Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition with Nite Pony package.

    Ford calls for US mine permitting reform

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

    The Inflation Reduction Act offers American car buyers a $7,500 tax credit for buying a new electric vehicle, as long as the ingredients in the battery of that automobile are mostly produced domestically, and none of the critical minerals in the EV comes from "foreign entities of concern" in China and elsewhere. The nearly decade-long process to permit a mine in the United States, however, has automakers concerned that none of the shiny electrified models they put on the... Full story

  • A white Volkswagen ID.4 EV travels past wind turbines on a European highway.

    No substitute for EU rare earths policy

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

    REIA urges EU to secure rare earth supplies to ensure adequate battery materials to meet 2030 EV targets. Securing an adequate supply of magnet rare earths to help make the most out of the highly competitive lithium battery materials should be an essential element of the European Union's electric vehicle strategy, according to the Rare Earth Industry Association. REIA delivered this message in response to the European Commission's call for input on the proposed European... Full story

  • Digital image representing an EV being charged with low-carbon wind energy.

    Canada unveils critical mineral strategy

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

    To seize upon a once-in-a-century opportunity to leverage Canada's already world-class mining sector to supply the minerals and metals needed to build the clean energy future, Ottawa has unveiled a strategy backed by a $3.8 billion (US$2.8 billion) investment to bolster the resiliency of critical mineral supply chains in the northern nation. Ottawa began positioning Canada as a major player at the front end of the emerging green energy supply chains with a 2021 list of 31... Full story

  • Night vision image of six-wheeled army vehicle under the Milky Way.

    Senate bill aims to boost strategic metals

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

    Senators Sullivan, Romney introduce bill to reduce DoD overreliance on China for minerals critical to security. Concerned that America is too reliant on China for the minerals and metals critical to national defense and energy security, U.S. senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) have introduced the Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2022 – legislation aimed at bolstering critical minerals production in the United States and allied countries. Over the past... Full story

  • 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 inc... Full story

  • Geologist using hammer to break off a rock sample on a hillside in Alaska.

    USGS launches 3 new Earth MRI scans

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 2, 2023

    As part of its nationwide scan for domestic sources of critical minerals, the U.S. Geological Survey is investing just over $1 million to gain a better understanding of the potential for cobalt, nickel, niobium, rare earths, manganese, platinum group elements, and other essential metals in Missouri, Montana, and Minnesota. In 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior allotted more than $74 million to the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, or Earth MRI, a partnership...

  • Soldier fires a machine gun while lying in the snow during winter exercises.

    DoD supports Perpetua's antimony project

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 20, 2022

    In a move to break America's dependence on China and Russia for the antimony needed for ammunition, fireproofing compounds, night vision goggles, and other military hardware, the Pentagon is providing $24.8 million to help reestablish a domestic antimony mine at Perpetua Resources Corp.'s Stibnite Gold project in Idaho. While originally established as a gold mine, Stibnite shifted its focus to strategic metals to support the U.S. military during World War II. From 1941 to 1945... Full story

  • A helicopter equipped with geophysical survey equipment prepares for flight.

    USGS invests another $6M in Earth MRIs

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 3, 2022

    Great Plains states, CO-WY border to be scanned for critical minerals. In its ongoing quest to identify domestic sources of the 50 minerals deemed critical to America's economy and security, the U.S. Geological Survey is investing $6 million to scan northern Great Plains states and mountains spanning the Colorado-Wyoming border for 40 of these minerals essential to powering everything from household appliances and electronics to clean energy and advanced technologies. This...

  • President Joe Biden delivers a speech laying out his American Jobs Plan.

    $2.8B US battery supply chain infusion

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 25, 2022

    In a massive leap toward establishing a domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain, the White House has awarded $2.8 billion in grants to companies advancing 20 battery materials manufacturing and processing projects in the U.S. and launched an initiative "to mobilize the entire government in securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity, and electric vehicles." To be administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the grants are to... Full story

  • A Tesla 4680 lithium-ion cell for EVs against a background of colorful swirls.

    DOE loans Syrah $102M for graphite plant

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 2, 2022

    To bolster supplies of the lithium-ion battery materials needed for America's transition to electric vehicles, the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office is loaning Syrah Resources Ltd. $102.1 million to expand Vidalia, a processing facility in Louisiana that upgrades mined graphite into a material needed in the lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles and modern electronics. "Securing critical materials, such as lithium and graphite, is essential to...

  • Wooden tiles with gallium, titanium, and other elements on the periodic table.

    Without a word uranium becomes critical

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The U.S. Geological Survey has identified 50 minerals and metals critical to the economic wellbeing and security of the United States, uranium is not one of them. This omission of a mineral that plays a critical role in America's energy security does not sit well with a bipartisan group of congressmen that have introduced legislation to rectify this oversight. "Energy security is national security. We should not be reliant on our foreign adversaries like China and Russia to...

  • Engine house above 19th-century copper-tin mine in Cornwall, England.

    UK gathers critical minerals intelligence

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    To help ensure it has reliable and plentiful supplies of the minerals and metals essential to the high-tech and green energy future, the United Kingdom has announced the launch of its Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre in Nottingham, England. Critical minerals are essential for the manufacturing of smartphones, electric vehicles, wind turbines, fighter jets, and an enormous array of other products essential to the UK's economy and national security. With the global...

  • A USGS geologist collecting samples from an outcrop of rocks in Alaska.

    White House funds critical minerals search

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The U.S. Department of the Interior is distributing more than $74.6 million to 30 states for critical minerals investigations under the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, or Earth MRI. These investments, which include $64 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aim to help improve the understanding of domestic critical mineral resources, a key to securing a reliable, domestic, and sustainable supply of minerals and metals critical t...

  • Green Berets on patrol with a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in the background.

    Russia's war heightens antimony concerns

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The supply chain repercussions of Russia's war with Ukraine have policymakers in Washington, DC concerned about securing supplies of antimony, which is critical to renewable energy storage technologies and national defense. Antimony is a metalloid, which means it falls between metals such as zinc and solid nonmetals like sulfur, with some interesting properties that make it a strategic material for the U.S. military. "Antimony is a key ingredient in communication equipment,... Full story

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