A “Minerals Club” Could Help Untie Us From Authoritarian Regimes, But Leaders Must Resist Nationalistic Impulses – by Christine McDaniel (Forbes Magazine – March 11, 2023)


US President Joe Biden and European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen on Friday vowed “cooperation on diversifying critical mineral and battery supply chains.” Dialing down trade tensions with our allies is a welcome development. There has even been talk of a “Critical Minerals Club,” which could be a first step toward an efficient market for these sought-after minerals, while unwinding dependencies on authoritarian regimes.

Transitioning from hydrocarbons toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries to run electric vehicles, is going to take a lot of critical minerals that we don’t have.

China is the world’s largest refiner and an obvious source. China dominates the lithium-ion battery manufacturing market, with about three-quarters of global production. “When you are talking about batteries for EVs, all roads go through China,” an auto expert recently told me.
But democratic countries are increasingly trying to avoid being cornered by authoritarian regimes, especially those with military aspirations at odds with an open society. Leaders across the US, UK, EU and Japan have voiced the need for a more diverse supplier base.

For the rest of this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinemcdaniel/2023/03/11/a-minerals-club-could-help-untie-us-from-authoritarian-regimes-but-leaders-must-resist-nationalistic-impulses/?sh=449032c9619f