A Mineral Strategy for American Security – by Kevin Stitt (Wall Street Journal – July 16, 2023)


Mr. Stitt, a Republican, is governor of Oklahoma.

China hasn’t been shy about its ambition to become the world’s superpower. But before Beijing can achieve that goal, it first needs to monopolize the world’s supply of critical minerals. The U.S. has been asleep at the wheel on this growing threat to America’s economic and national security.

Chemical elements such as neodymium, lithium and zinc are vital to modern life. They are used to make wind turbines, cell phones, satellites and precision-guided munitions. The U.S. economy can’t function without secure access to a reliable supply of these critical minerals.

Beijing is actively working to control that supply. Chinese companies are obtaining licenses to mine these elements in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chile and Argentina, and, crucially, denying the mining opportunity to the U.S. and others.

The critical mineral gap between China and the U.S. has grown into a dangerous chasm, threatening civilian and military supply chains. China accounts for 60% of global production, 85% to 90% of processing and more than 75% of manufacturing of critical minerals.

For the rest of this column: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-mineral-strategy-for-american-security-permitting-reform-oklahoma-china-8cb213f0