According to foreign media reports, US Republican senators led by Lisa Mukorski (Lisa Murkowski) and Democrats have jointly proposed a mineral resources security law (American Minerals Security Act), to reduce external dependence and improve mineral resources and supply chain. Lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel are also listed as "key minerals" (critical minerals) for the automotive and energy industries.
Speaking at the benchmark Minerals Summit (Benchmark Minerals Summit), Mukorski said US mineral safety was important and urgent, but its challenges were often overlooked. Key mineral consumption in the United States is heavily dependent on foreign countries, affecting employment, weakening economic competitiveness and aggravating geopolitical risks.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), more than half of the 48 minerals consumed in the United States in 2018 were dependent on imports, 18 of which were entirely dependent on imports. Minerals that rely entirely on imports include rare earth elements, graphite and indium.
Simon Morse (Simon Moores), manager of benchmark Minerals Intelligence Agency (Benchmark Mineral Intelligence), a battery raw materials consultancy, says lithium batteries are as important in the 21st century as oil is in the 20th century. At present, the United States produces less than 1% of the world's lithium, and lithium chemicals account for only 7%. The United States has no production capacity for cobalt mining and chemicals. There are no flake graphite mines and no graphite positive production capacity in the United States. The United States produces less than 1% of the world's nickel and has no nickel sulfate capacity.