Aug 11 (Reuters) – Miners will struggle to expand operations in the United States in record time to meet a deadline for sourcing key minerals domestically or from select countries as set out by a bill likely to be passed on Friday, companies and industry watchers said.
The requirement is part of a sweeping bill that includes climate and clean energy policies and rules on electric vehicle (EV) battery materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and graphite. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on the measure Friday.
“Considering it takes seven years to build a mine and refining plant but only 24 months to build a battery plant, the best part of this decade is needed to establish an entirely new industry in the United States,” said Simon Moores, chief executive of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes a $7,500 tax credit for new electric vehicles, but to win the full credit, EV makers have to source in 2023 at least two-fifths of battery materials from the United States or free trade agreement (FTA) partners such as Canada, Chile and Australia or recycle it in North America.
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