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How the US and Allies Are Securing Critical Minerals for a Green Future

The Minerals Security Partnership aims to diversify and sustain critical minerals supply chains by supporting strategic projects around the world.

by Motoni Olodun
critical minerals

A senior US official said the US and its partners are working on 15 projects to secure supplies of critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and the energy transition.

Critical minerals like lithium and rare earths are essential for clean energy technologies like batteries, wind turbines, and solar panels. They are also vital for national security and economic prosperity. However, China dominates the global supply chains for these minerals, which poses a strategic risk for the US and its allies.

The US formed the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) last year with 14 other governments, including the UK, the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, and South Korea, to address this challenge. The MSP aims to ensure adequate and sustainable supplies of critical minerals by facilitating deals among private companies and providing financial and diplomatic support for strategic projects along the value chain.

“We’re now looking at 15 projects on five continents, ranging from extraction to processing,” Jose Fernandez, US State Department Undersecretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment, told a briefing in London. “It’s our intent to get some deals done in the next few months.”

He declined to give details about the companies involved but said at least one of the projects is in Britain. He added that the MSP will meet during the London Metal Exchange (LME) Week industry gathering next week.

The MSP is part of a broader effort by the US and its partners to diversify their sources of critical minerals and reduce their dependence on China. The US has also signed bilateral agreements with Japan, Canada, Australia, and Brazil on critical minerals cooperation. In addition, the US is seeking to expand domestic mining, production, processing, and recycling of critical minerals.

Fernandez said he was confident that the US would seal an agreement to allow critical minerals mined or processed in Britain to qualify for US clean vehicle tax breaks. On Monday, he said the US was optimistic about reaching an agreement with the EU.

The US Inflation Reduction Act provides a $ 7,500 tax credit on EVs bought in the US if a percentage of critical battery minerals are sourced from the US or a free trade partner.

The MSP’s initiative is expected to boost the global transition to a low-carbon economy and create new jobs and opportunities for the participating countries. It also reflects the shared commitment of the US and its partners to high environmental, social, and governance standards in critical minerals development.

Source: Mining Weekly

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