While somewhat relaxing its concern about uranium, the U.S. appears increasingly worried about rare earths supply. A Reuters exclusive says Washington has begun an inventory to itemize domestic RE projects.
“The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27,” the news agency reported.
“Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency.” The request mentions the possibility of investment by the military, Reuters added.
The move marks another development in American plans to reduce the country’s dependency on critical minerals from economic and geopolitical rivals. Last month the U.S. announced a new critical minerals strategy calling for closer co-operation with allies.
Out of an official list of 35 critical minerals, rare earths repeatedly come up for special attention. China supplies 80% of American demand for this economic and military essential, with more imports coming indirectly from China. Compounding the conundrum is the fact that America’s only rare earths mine, Mountain Pass in California, ships its entire output to China.
For the rest of this article: http://resourceclips.com/2019/07/15/washington-continues-critical-inquiries-into-rare-earths-and-uranium-supply-chains/