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Biden Announces New Domestic Investment in Mineral Production

President Biden announced a mineral supply chain push on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post (subscription).

Targeted minerals important in several fields: The targeted minerals are those used in the production of goods, including computers, defense systems, electric vehicles, batteries, renewable energy systems and household appliances.

Addressing supply chain challenges: The announcement comes a year after President Biden signed an executive order to evaluate vulnerabilities in mineral and material supply chains.

MP Materials: MP Materials was awarded $35 million to separate and process rare earth elements in California. The company announced it is investing $700 million in the magnet supply chain, which the Biden administration believes is key to competing in a market dominated by China.

Other companies on board: Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables announced plans to break ground on a facility to test its sustainable lithium extraction process from geothermal brine. Redwood Materials is working on a pilot project with Ford and Volvo for the collection and recycling of lithium-ion batteries with the goal of extracting lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite.

Infrastructure law initiatives: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm touted initiatives funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law, including a $140 million project to extract elements and critical rare earth minerals from coal ash and mine waste.

What we’re saying: “Our country is depending on the many products we make—from equipment for our frontline medical workers to technologies making modern education and entertainment possible for both comfort and safety during these uncertain times,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones. “As we look at ways to onshore, a comprehensive approach to increase domestic production and processing of these critical mineral resources at the front end of the manufacturing supply chain is essential. Capitalizing on our natural resource potential in a responsible and sustainable way is critical to both competitiveness and improved environmental performance of manufacturing in America.”

Our plug: Check out the NAM’s plan to strengthen the supply chain.

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