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Executive Order Issued on Critical Minerals

Posted By Mark Ellis, Thursday, December 21, 2017

Yesterday President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) instructing cabinet officers and administration officials to devise a strategy to reduce the Nation’s reliance on critical minerals that are vital to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity.  The EO is supported by a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that offers the first assessment of the country’s critical minerals resources since 1973, an analysis the agency began in 2013.  The report concludes that 20 out of the 23 critical minerals the nation relies upon are sourced from China.

The EO declares that “[i]t shall be the policy of the Federal Government to reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals, which constitutes a strategic vulnerability for the security and prosperity of the United States.”  The policy is to be furthered by identifying new sources of critical minerals, increasing activity at all levels of the supply chain, ensuring electronic access to mineral science data and streamlining the leasing and permitting process.  The EO directs several cabinet officers and administration officials to develop a strategy to implement the policy within specified time frames.

The USGS critical minerals report primarily addresses metals, although barite is identified as one of the critical minerals.

Initiatives to reduce the time it takes to permit and develop a mine are likely to flow from the EO.  However, increased royalties from minerals produced on federal lands has been discussed, presumably to help finance related federal activities but also to increase the federal government’s revenue stream.

To view the as-yet unnumbered EO, click here.

To view the USGS critical minerals report, click here.

Tags:  critical minerals  Executive Order  USGS 

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