US government mandate to support nickel and zinc production (Mining Journal – February 23, 2022)

The latest list, released by the United States Geological Survey, contained 15 more commodities than the first list of critical minerals, which was created in 2018. The list has been officially updated after draft proposals were issued in November.

The list is designed to act as a trigger for government initiatives to improve domestic production, and diversity of supply, of key mineral. In practice this could unlock government support for junior minors and refining businesses in the US.

The 2022 list added nickel and zinc to the catalogue, while helium, potash, rhenium and strontium were removed. The new list also included aluminum, cobalt and rhodium. It also split the rare earth elements and platinum group elements, including platinum and palladium, into individual entries.#

The division of rare earth elements into separate categories underpins the US government’s particular focus on increasing domestic production of the magnet rare earths, which include neodymium and dysprosium.

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