DPA announcement on mineral security will benefit Alaska

31.03.22

At the request of U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA ), President Biden announced today that he is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to stimulate critical mineral production.

On March 11, senators sent a letter to President Biden calling for the DPA to be invoked to rebuild the capacity of key sectors and value chains by producing and domestically processing critical minerals such as graphite, manganese, cobalt, lithium and nickel to support Security.

“This is a late step that will help address one of our country’s most significant vulnerabilities, our growing dependence on foreign supplies of critical minerals. While there are a range of actions we should take to address this challenge, including further federal licensing reforms, the Defense Production Act is an important complement to these,” said Senator Murkowski. “My hope is that this decision marks the beginning of a much more serious focus on our nation’s mineral security, and that real projects, especially mines, in states like Alaska will result. It is also essential that the five minerals covered by this decision are only the beginning, not the end, of federal efforts to rebuild our national supply chains.

“I am pleased that President Biden has taken seriously our bipartisan call to strengthen our national supply chain of critical minerals by invoking the Defense Production Act to increase production of five vital battery minerals. These minerals are essential to the technologies we depend on, and accelerating their production is vital to our energy and national security. Building our domestic supply chain and reducing our dependence on Russia, China and other adversarial nations is more important than ever. I urge the administration to continue to use every tool at its disposal and to work with Congress to unlock the full potential of our nation’s vast natural resources to rob any nation of the ability to use the dependencies of supply chain against us and our allies,” said President Manchin.

“While I am encouraged that President Biden is heeding our concerns and invoking the Defense Production Act for certain critical minerals, this must be the beginning, not the end, of immediate and aggressive efforts to shore up our chains. mineral supply”, said Senator Risch. “The United States’ overreliance on countries like Russia and China for these vital materials is a matter of national security. Many states, including my home state of Idaho, contain rich deposits of vital minerals that we can no longer afford to ignore. We must take steps to prioritize the national development of critical minerals before this serious threat turns into an active crisis.

“We cannot go from a dependence on foreign oil to a dependence on Chinese minerals,” said Dr. Cassidy. “It is encouraging that the administration has listened to our letter and is announcing action. However, enacting the DPA without solving the bureaucratic clearance issue would be little more than tokenism. We also need to streamline the clearance process which could delay any years of effort.”

“Giving graphite and battery materials the DPA Title III designation — as “National Defense Critical” — is a strong signal that the full force of the U.S. federal government will now be behind the domestic development of these “super-criticals.” At Graphite One, we all want to thank Senator Murkowski, the Senate’s undisputed expert on critical minerals, and Senate ENR Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, who advocated so convincingly for President Biden to cross this step “, said Anthony Huston, President and CEO of Graphite One. “With the USGS last month recognizing the Graphite One deposit in Alaska as the largest known graphite deposit in America, and adding to that our plan to produce battery-ready anode material, Graphite One is ready to answer the call and create a complete advanced graphite supply chain solution for the United States”

“Alaska miners are thrilled that the Biden administration has finally made the connection between increased demand for minerals and U.S. sources to meet it. The presidential decision refers to the need for “mining and of environmentally friendly national treatment”, and no place does this better than We hope the administration will expand beyond minerals related only to battery storage and aggressively pursue the national development of all the minerals we need most, such as copper, gold, silver and zinc, and also our hope that the policies of the president will be met by the most important thing needed to develop national mining: the regulatory certainty. We are deeply grateful to Senators Murkowski and Sullivan for reminding the administration of this and for frequently emphasizing the importance of a licensing regime. table. in Congress, said Deantha Skibinski, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association.

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