The US Geological Survey announced on Monday it is seeking public comment by December 9 on a draft revised list of critical minerals. There are currently 50 minerals listed in this revised draft.
Under the Energy Act of 2020, a “critical mineral” is defined as a non-fuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic or national security of the US, as well as the supply chain, which is vulnerable to disruption.
Critical minerals are also characterized as serving an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have significant consequences for the economic or national security.
“The USGS’s critical minerals list provides vital information for industry, policymakers, economists and scientists on the most important minerals when it comes to US supply chains,” Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, stated in a news release.
“The statistics and information are crucial to understanding America’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals, including data on the worldwide supply and demand for minerals and materials essential to the US economy and national security.”
In 2018, the Department of the Interior worked in consultation with other cabinet agencies to develop the nation’s first list of critical minerals in response to Executive Order 13817.
Under the Energy Act, at least every three years the Department is required to review and update the list of critical minerals, update the methodology used to identify potential critical minerals, take interagency feedback and public comment through the Federal Register, and ultimately finalize the list of critical minerals, also referred to as the “whole-of-government” critical minerals list.
After two years, working with the National Science and Technology Council’s Critical Minerals Subcommittee, the USGS published a report describing the updated methodology for assessing critical minerals for the list and latest results. This report formed the basis for the draft 2021 whole-of-government critical minerals list.
Written comments on the draft 2021 whole-of-government critical minerals list can be submitted here or via mail to the USGS.