#Bloomberg: #US Scours for Rare Earths to End Addiction to #Chinese Imports

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The U.S. government is scouring the country and elsewhere for potential rare earths reserves to wean the nation off its dependence on Chinese imports of minerals used to make missiles and cellphones.

“We’ve been almost 100% dependent on foreign sources of rare earth elements for industrial applications,” Jim Reilly, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said. “It’s not only the domestic sources of the resource that we concentrate on. We look for those resources literally across the globe, and then we build collaboration with our partners.”

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-07/u-s-scours-for-rare-earths-to-end-addiction-to-chinese-imports

#US Mine Production Increasing, Estimated Value of $86.3 Billion in Minerals

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The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that U.S. mines produced approximately $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019 –- more than $2 billion higher than revised 2018 production totals.

“The data we are releasing today is vital to understanding which minerals are vulnerable to disruptions in America’s supply chains and provides the analytical foundation for President Trump’s broader strategy to make our economy and defense more secure,” said Jim Reilly, USGS Director. “American production of minerals – having an estimated value of more than $86 billion – is critical for all means of commerce and manufacturing with many of these minerals being used in every day household items.”

The Trump administration released, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals,” last year to make America’s economy and defense more secure. The strategy directed the U.S. Department of the Interior to locate domestic supplies of critical minerals, ensure access to information necessary for the study and production of minerals and expedite permitting for minerals projects. Pursuant to the federal strategy, USGS launched its Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) to acquire geologic, geophysical and topographic data to help characterize the distribution of critical minerals and identify areas in which more data would improve our understanding of undiscovered critical mineral resources.

Read more at: https://www.usgs.gov/news/us-mine-production-increasing-estimated-value-863-billion-minerals

#Germany to urge next #Bolivian leaders to revive #Lithium deal

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will seek talks with Bolivia’s next government to revive a deal to exploit jointly huge lithium reserves in the Andean country, as it works to secure supplies for production of electric cars in Europe’s largest economy, officials said.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-bolivia-lithium/germany-to-urge-next-bolivian-leaders-to-revive-lithium-deal-idUSKBN1ZM1IP

#Reuters: #China to buy rare earths from #US as part of trade pact

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China has agreed to buy two types of rare earth metals from the United States as part of an initial trade deal inked on Wednesday, a move likely to boost U.S. production of the strategic minerals. The agreement, signed in Washington by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump, gives China two years to ramp up purchases of hundreds of U.S. products, including scandium and yttrium, two of the 17 rare earths commonly used in lighting and computers.

The trade agreement does not involve neodymium or praseodymium, the two most commonly used types of rare earths. China dominates their production, as well as the manufacture of rare earths magnets. After rare earths are processed, they must be turned into magnets, otherwise they are of little value to electronics and weapons manufacturers.

Neither scandium nor yttrium are currently produced in the United States. However, several junior miners are developing U.S. mines to produce them and other rare earths.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-rareearths/china-to-buy-rare-earths-from-u-s-as-part-of-trade-pact-idUSKBN1ZE2YQ

#Canada unlikely to see long-term benefits of #US rare earth deal

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Canada and the U.S. face stiff competition in the search for independence from China’s supply of the rare earth minerals used in phones, clean technology and missiles, says rare earths expert Anton Chakhmouradian.

An agreement signed between Canada and the U.S. is more likely to stimulate research and exploration than it is to translate into economic benefits from production in Canada this decade, he said.

Canada is “decades” behind China and Russia in research on extracting rare earths at a competitive cost or mass scale, said Chakhmouradian.

The U.S. is attempting to make up the gap. It has a research institute dedicated to rare earths, and views mineral independence as a key factor in its current trade war with China, said Chakhmouradian.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rare-earth-agreement-1.5417128

#CNN Business: New #Lithium-sulfur battery could charge your phone for five days, researchers say

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London (CNN Business)Australian researchers claim they have developed a battery that can keep a smartphone charged for five days or power an electric car for 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles).

If the technology comes to be used widely, it would represent a significant breakthrough in the hunt for greener, more efficient energy.
The team from Monash University in Melbourne says the lithium-sulfur battery it has created is the “world’s most efficient,” and can outperform traditional batteries by four times.
The researchers said they are “on the brink” of commercializing the innovation, and touted its benefits for the fight against climate change.

#Forbes: Unstable Mineral Supply Threatens Electric Car, Green Projects, Justifies Undersea, Space Mining; Report

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The advent of the electric car is threatened by a few known knowns like range anxiety, high prices, and a thin recharging network, but now, according to a report from the University of Sussex, lurking in the background are possible shortages of the raw materials at the heart of this low-carbon revolution, which threaten to derail the whole project.

Making sure of adequate supplies is so important, mining under the sea, or even on other planets, would be justified, according to the report.

The automotive industry in Europe has been spending massively to embrace the electric car. On Thursday, Europe’s number one auto maker, Volkswagen, raised the stakes of its electric plans by bringing forward its target of producing one million electric cars a year by two years, to the end of 2023. By 2025 this will reach 1.5 million a year.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/2020/01/03/unstable-mineral-supply-threatens-electric-car-green-projects-justifies-undersea-space-mining-report/#a5b43fc3aa61

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