President Biden announced a number of public and private investments on Tuesday to expand the domestic supply of minerals needed to make electric vehicles, computers, solar panels and other products, but now of foreign origin.
“We cannot build a future made in America if we ourselves depend on China for the ingredients that power the products of today and tomorrow,” Biden said at the a White House event.
The initiative is part of a White House effort to make the United States less dependent on foreign products, as supply chain disruptions lead to shortages of goods, contributing to inflation. broadcast. The investments announced Tuesday aim to boost the domestic supply of minerals – including lithium, cobalt and rare earths, many of which often come from China – used in a range of technologies.
The Pentagon has awarded MP Materials, an American miner, $35 million to expand a rare earths project in Mountain Pass, California, with the company expected to invest an additional $700 million in the supply chain. by 2024. The project will establish the first complete supply following a White House statement in the United States for permanent magnets, used in electric vehicle motors, wind turbines and national applications room.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables announced plans to break ground this spring at a California facility to test the commercial viability of a process. lithium extraction from geothermal brine. If the test is successful, the company could begin commercial production of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate by 2026.
Redwood Materials said it will be discussing a pilot project with Ford Motor and Volvo to extract lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite from retired lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, according to a statement by the House. White.
The Biden Administration warned that foreign dependence on lithium, cobalt, nickel and other minerals, especially from China, poses a threat to the US economy and security. It has promised to expand the domestic supply of semiconductors, batteries and pharmaceuticals, as well as to mine, process and recycle important minerals.
The infrastructure law passed last year includes funding for projects that recover rare earths and other key minerals from coal ash and mine waste, refine battery materials and recycle electric vehicle batteries.
Mr. Biden said on Tuesday that the United States must import nearly 100% of the vital minerals it needs from other countries, especially China, Australia and Chile. “I was determined to change that and we have seen what happens when we become dependent on other countries for essential items,” he said.
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