Trump: Break Chinese, Russian stranglehold over mineral supplies – by John Siciliano (Washington Examiner – December 20, 2017)

President Trump ordered the U.S. military and the Interior Department to take immediate action to “break” the nation’s dependence on Russian and Chinese supplies of critical minerals as a matter of national security.

“This dependency of the United States on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability for both its economy and military to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, and other events that can disrupt supply of these key minerals,” read an executive order signed by the president on Wednesday.

The order explained that the U.S. has the resources to end the unnecessary dependence on foreign sources of minerals, but must provide its miners with information necessary to begin mining and exploration of critical mineral deposits. This data would include new topography maps and other information on where the largest deposits of critical minerals can be found.

The order also noted that mining the nation’s own critical mineral resources has been hampered by permitting delays and the threat of litigation.

These mineral commodities include such metals such as Lithium, Manganese, Tin, and others that are critical to state-of-the-art electronics and missile guidance systems. Many of the mineral commodities listed by the U.S. Geological Survey are used in any number of consumer electronic devices like smart phones.

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