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US publishes critical minerals list

29 May 2018

The US Department of the Interior has published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement an executive order from  President Trump.  This list of critical minerals, while “final,” is not intended as a permanent designation of criticality, but is described as "a dynamic list" that will be updated periodically to represent current data on supply, demand, and concentration of production, as well as changing US policy priorities.

The full list of critical minerals includes:

  •     Aluminum (bauxite), used in almost all sectors of the economy
  •     Antimony, used in batteries and flame retardants
  •     Arsenic, used in lumber preservatives, pesticides, and semi-conductors
  •     Barite, used in cement and petroleum industries
  •     Beryllium, used as an alloying agent in aerospace and defense industries
  •     Bismuth, used in medical and atomic research
  •     Cesium, used in research and development
  •     Chromium, used primarily in stainless steel and other alloys
  •     Cobalt, used in rechargeable batteries and superalloys
  •     Fluorspar, used in the manufacture of aluminum, gasoline, and uranium fuel
  •     Gallium, used for integrated circuits and optical devices like LEDs
  •     Germanium, used for fiber optics and night vision applications
  •     Graphite (natural), used for lubricants, batteries, and fuel cells
  •     Hafnium, used for nuclear control rods, alloys, and high-temperature ceramics
  •     Helium, used for MRIs, lifting agent, and research
  •     Indium, mostly used in LCD screens
  •     Lithium, used primarily for batteries
  •     Magnesium, used in furnace linings for manufacturing steel and ceramics
  •     Manganese, used in steelmaking
  •     Niobium, used mostly in steel alloys
  •     Platinum group metals, used for catalytic agents
  •     Potash, primarily used as a fertilizer
  •     Rare earth elements group, primarily used in batteries and electronics
  •     Rhenium, used for lead-free gasoline and superalloys
  •     Rubidium, used for research and development in electronics
  •     Scandium, used for alloys and fuel cells
  •     Strontium, used for pyrotechnics and ceramic magnets
  •     Tantalum, used in electronic components, mostly capacitors
  •     Tellurium, used in steelmaking and solar cells
  •     Tin, used as protective coatings and alloys for steel
  •     Titanium, overwhelmingly used as a white pigment or metal alloys
  •     Tungsten, primarily used to make wear-resistant metals
  •     Uranium, mostly used for nuclear fuel
  •     Vanadium, primarily used for titanium alloys
  •     Zirconium, used in the high-temperature ceramics industries

Further information is available here.

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