Column: U.S. forms ‘friendly’ coalition to secure critical minerals – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 30, 2022)

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – A metallic NATO is starting to take shape, though no-one is calling it that just yet. The Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) is in theory open to all countries that are committed to “responsible critical mineral supply chains to support economic prosperity and climate objectives”.

But the coalition assembled by the United States is one of like-minded countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany with an Asian axis in the form of Japan and South Korea.

It is defined as much as anything by who is not on the invite list – China and Russia. China’s dominance of key enabling minerals such as lithium and rare earths is the single biggest reason why Western countries are looking to build their own supply chains.

Russia, a major producer of nickel, aluminium and platinum group metals, is now also a highly problematic trading partner as its war in Ukraine that the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” grinds on.

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