The U.S. aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 as part of its commitment to tackling climate change, but local production of the raw materials necessary to produce these technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles, is lacking. Understandably, this has raised concerns in Washington. Today’s infographic, based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey, lists all of the minerals that the government has deemed critical to both the economic and national security of the United States.
This version of the original article by Bruno Venditti (visualcapitalist.com) has been edited [ ] and abridged (…) to provide you with a faster and easier read. Also note that this complete paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
What are Critical Minerals?
.#$$4$A critical mineral is defined as a non-fuel material considered vital for the economic well-being of the world’s major and emerging economies, whose supply may be at risk. This can be due to geological scarcity, geopolitical issues, trade policy, or other factors…
What is the Challenge for the U.S.?
The challenge for the U.S. is that the local production of these raw materials is extremely limited. For instance, in 2021 there was only one operating nickel mine in the country…(scheduled to close in 2025)…and only one lithium mine…[As a result,] the country’s supply of critical minerals depends on countries that have historically competed with America.
China’s Dominance in Minerals
Perhaps unsurprisingly, China is the single largest supply source of mineral commodities for the United States…[and] refines nearly 90% of the world’s rare earths…After China, the next largest source of mineral commodities to the United States has been Canada, which provided the United States with 16 different elements in 2021.
The 50 Minerals Critical to U.S. Security
The Rising Demand for Critical Minerals
As the world’s clean energy transitions gather pace, demand . According to the International Energy Association, the rise of low-carbon power generation is projected to triple mineral demand for critical minerals…by 2040 for critical minerals.
The shift to a sustainable economy is important, and consequently, securing the critical minerals necessary for it is just as vital.
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