Importance of earth-rare and critical minerals

The end of Oil Geopolitical Dominance will be replaces by a new political mantra: importance of critical and earth-rare minerals as strategic commodities.

On the 20th December 2017, WH current administration has been issued the Executive Order 13817: “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals”. Pursuant to the Executive Order 13817, the DOI released a list of 35 minerals the USGS identified as critical minerals. This list will be reevaluated every 2 years and publish by USGS - United States Geological Survey, which is part of the DOI - Department Of Interne.

Rare Minerals

Under the Executive Order 13817, a “critical mineral” is a mineral identified to be a non-fuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic and national security of the United States, the supply chain of which is vulnerable to disruption, and that serves an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have significant consequences for the economy or national security.

DOI found and identified 35 minerals as critical and subsequent they finalized and published the final version of the list on 18th May 2018. The major conclusions of this study are: for 31 of these 35 minerals the U.S. is more than 50% import-reliant and for 14 of the 35 minerals the U.S. is 100% important-reliant.

The United States is 100% import reliant on 14 minerals on the critical minerals list (aside from a small amount of recycling). These minerals are difficult to substitute inputs into the U.S. economy and national security applications; they include graphite, manganese, niobium, rare earths, and tantalum, among others.

The United States is more than 75% import reliant on an additional 10 critical minerals: antimony, barite, bauxite, bismuth, potash, rhenium, tellurium, tin, titanium concentrate, and uranium.

China and Canada are the two leading countries that the U.S. is import-reliant upon.

Technical Card: The full list of 35 critical minerals
  • Aluminum (bauxite), used in almost all sectors of the economy
  • Antimony, used in batteries and flame retardants
  • Arsenic, used in lumber preservatives, pesticides, and semi-conductors
  • Barite, used in cement and petroleum industries
  • Beryllium, used as an alloying agent in aerospace and defense industries
  • Bismuth, used in medical and atomic research
  • Cesium, used in research and development
  • Chromium, used primarily in stainless steel and other alloys
  • Cobalt, used in rechargeable batteries and superalloys
  • Fluorspar, used in the manufacture of aluminum, gasoline, and uranium fuel
  • Gallium, used for integrated circuits and optical devices like LEDs
  • Germanium, used for fiber optics and night vision applications
  • Graphite (natural), used for lubricants, batteries, and fuel cells
  • Hafnium, used for nuclear control rods, alloys, and high-temperature ceramics
  • Helium, used for MRIs, lifting agent, and research
  • Indium, mostly used in LCD screens
  • Lithium, used primarily for batteries
  • Magnesium, used in furnace linings for manufacturing steel and ceramics
  • Manganese, used in steelmaking
  • Niobium, used mostly in steel alloys
  • Platinum group metals, used for catalytic agents
  • Potash, primarily used as a fertilizer
  • Rare earth elements group, primarily used in batteries and electronics
  • Rhenium, used for lead-free gasoline and super alloys
  • Rubidium, used for research and development in electronics
  • Scandium, used for alloys and fuel cells
  • Strontium, used for pyrotechnics and ceramic magnets
  • Tantalum, used in electronic components, mostly capacitors
  • Tellurium, used in steelmaking and solar cells

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The information posted herein has been compiled by Clean Energy Brands from OEM product data and reputable publications. All rights reserved!

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