US expands rare earth mining plans to reduce China dependence
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand domestic production of rare-earth minerals that are important for most manufacturing sectors as a way to reduce dependence on China, reports Bloomberg News
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand domestic production of rare-earth minerals that are important for most manufacturing sectors as a way to reduce dependence on China, reports Bloomberg News.
The order declares a national emergency in the mining industry and instructs the Interior Department to utilise the Defence Product Act to speed-up the development of mines. The law was previously used to produce medical supplies during the Covid pandemic.
China accounted for 80 per cent of total US imports of rare-earth compounds and metals last year. Last year, the White House ordered the Defence Department to spur the production of rare-earth magnets to decrease this.
These magnets go inside products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, missile-guidance systems, and much more.
President Trump signed the order on his way to campaign stops in Minnesota, where he has made appeals to miners and residents.
The executive order stated that the Energy Secretary shall develop and publish guidance to clarify which projects supporting domestic supply chains for the minerals are eligible for a loan programme earmarked for clean energy projects.
The order also states that the Interior and Energy Departments should encourage the development and reuse of old coal waste areas, material on old mining sites, as well as abandoned mining sites for recovery of the critical minerals.
Two US Congressmen earlier this month introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing dependence on China for mining.
Meanwhile, the European Union stepped up its push to become less reliant on imports of the raw materials, as the European Commission vowed to create a rare-earths alliance by the end of the year.
'Reduce the vulnerability of the United States to the disruption of critical mineral supply chains through cooperation and coordination with partners and allies, including the private sector,' said the order.