Pentagon Seeks Supply of Chip-Mineral Gallium After China Curbs Exports – by Tony Capaccio (Bloomberg News – July 26, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — The Pentagon plans to issue a first-time contract to US or Canadian companies by year-end to recover gallium, a mineral used in semiconductors and military radar systems, after China curbed exports this month.

China announced the restrictions on gallium and another mineral, germanium, in a move seen as part of the country’s tit-for-tat trade war on technology with the US and Europe. The two metals are crucial to the semiconductor, telecommunications and renewable energy industries. The curbs prompted US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to voice her concern during a recent visit to Beijing.

The Pentagon, which has reserves of germanium but not gallium, plans to use its authority under the Defense Production Act for “prioritizing awards” by Dec. 31, “focusing on recovery of gallium from existing waste streams of other products,” spokesman Jeff Jurgensen said in a statement.

DPA funds bankroll investments in key sectors of domestic US industry for targeted national security purposes, such as the stockpiles of personal protective equipment that were used during the coronavirus pandemic.

For the rest of this article: