May 2023
Volume 75    Issue 5

USGS critical minerals review

Mining Engineering , 2023, Vol. 75, No. 5, pp. 30-30
Fortier, Steven; Nassar, Nedal; Day, Warren; Hammarstrom, Jane; Seal, Robert; Graham , Garth; Lederer, Graham


Issues related to the security of the supply of critical minerals have received increasing attention from the White House, Congress, U.S. government agencies and other interested parties for more than 15 years. More widespread awareness of the importance of critical minerals began in 2008 following the publication of the report Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy (National Research Council, 2008). International news media subsequently highlighted the vulnerability of the rare earth element (REE) supply chain when China threatened to cut off supply to Japan over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea (New York Times, 2010). This event set in motion a chain of responses by the U.S. government, and those of other market economies, to address these concerns. Important steps in the United States included the development of a critical minerals screening methodology, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This ongoing collaborative effort with several interagency partners is conducted under the auspices of the Critical Minerals Subcommittee (CMS) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House Executive Office of the President (EOP) (National Science and Technology Council, 2016). This methodology has become steadily more quantitative, with the most recent work focusing on the economic vulnerability component of the model (McCullough and Nassar, 2017; Nassar et al., 2020a; Manley et al., 2022a, 2022b).

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