• Revolutionizing Resource Renewal: Scaling Up Sustainable Recycling for Critical Materials

    Permanent magnets, which retain magnetic properties even in the absence of an inducing field or current, are used extensively in clean energy and defense applications. Rare earths are challenging to access because they are scattered across Earth’s crust, yet they are key components in many modern technologies. Recycled rare earths can be used to make new permanent magnets, accelerate chemical reactions and improve the properties of metals when included as alloy components.

  • Australia Should Learn from Canada and Take a Truly Global Approach to Critical Minerals

    Canada and Australia are key players in the global supply chain for critical minerals. Simultaneously the top two nations for receiving minerals investment and for providing minerals investment, they are perfectly placed to use critical minerals to facilitate the global energy transition, foster innovation and build their security capabilities.

  • Strengthening Domestic Supply Chains for Critical Minerals

    The USGS is investing millions of dollars in strengthening domestic supply chains for mineral resources critical to every economic sector and every member of society. Central to this effort is a nationwide mapping effort for critical minerals.

  • Money Helps States Identify Critical Mineral Potential in Mine Waste

    Funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow 14 states to study the potential for critical mineral resources in mine waste. This funding will allow the USGS and these states to better map locations of mine waste and measure the potential for critical minerals that might exist there.

  • China, U.S. Escalate Trade-Restrictions War

    The Chinese government announced Friday that it would tighten export controls on graphite, a material essential to the construction of batteries used in electric cars and other green energy systems and of which China is the world’s preeminent supplier. The move came days after the Biden administration announced that the United States would widen the list of semiconductors that it prevents from being exported to China.

  • It's Easier to Get Valuable Metals from Battery Waste If You “Flash” It

    Demand for valuable metals needed in batteries is poised to grow over the coming decades in step with the growth of clean energy technologies, and the best place to source them may be by recycling spent batteries.

  • The U.S. Government Should Stockpile More Critical Minerals

    The 2022 National Defense Strategy describes China as America’s “most consequential strategic competitor for the coming decades.” Yet, Gregory Wischer and Jack Little write, the United States is unprepared to fight a major war against the Chinese. “A longer, more intense U.S.-Chinese conflict over Taiwan would expose even deeper cracks in the defense industrial base and undermine the U.S. military’s ability to defeat the Chinese military: The United States lacks sufficient stocks of critical minerals to support the defense industrial base, from nickel in superalloys for jet engines to rare earth elements in magnets for guided munitions,” they write.

  • Large Lithium Deposits Discovered in a Caldera on the Nevada-Oregon Border

    Geologists estimate that about 20 to 40 million tons of lithium metal – among the world’s largest deposits – are available in the McDermitt Caldera on the Nevada-Oregon border. “If you believe their back-of-the-envelope estimation, this is a very, very significant deposit of lithium,” says one expert. “It could change the dynamics of lithium globally, in terms of price, security of supply and geopolitics.”

  • Refinery in Central Tennessee Could Break Chinese Chokehold on Two Critical Minerals

    A solution to potential shortages of two critical minerals used in making semiconductors and advanced military equipment — exports of which were restricted by China this month — may be lying in some waste storage ponds in central Tennessee.

  • An American View on U.S. Investment in Critical-Mineral Mining in Australia

    In May, the United States and Australia signed a compact which, among other things, aims to coordinate policies and investments to support the expansion and diversification of critical minerals supply chains. In this case, diversification basically equates to reducing dependence on China, in which various links in the critical-mineral supply chain are heavily concentrated.

  • Can We Use Plastic Waste to Build Roads, Buildings, and More?

    A new study examines the current status, challenges, and needs of recycling plastics in a circular economy, and examine the long-term durability and environmental costs of doing so for use in infrastructure. Stanford engineers Zhiye Li and Michael Lepech discuss the potential for reusing discarded plastic in infrastructure applications.

  • China’s Gallium and Germanium Controls: What They Mean and What Could Happen Next

    From August, China is to restrict exports of gallium and germanium, two critical elements for making semiconductor chips. China dominates the supply of both elements. The restrictions look likely to lead to higher prices for gallium and germanium, as well as longer delivery times.

  • Opportunities for Australia–ASEAN Collaboration on Critical Minerals

    Southeast Asia’s energy transition is coming to life as the development of green technologies accelerates across the region. Securing critical minerals will be crucial to this process, and Australia should work with Southeast Asia to realize their mutual goals in this area.

  • Who Will Benefit from Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy?

    Critical mineral projects will be favored for Australian federal government loans under its new critical minerals strategy, but there are to be no tailored tax breaks. Nor are there any plans to make downstream processing a condition of mining or export approvals.

  • Rare Earth Elements in Turkey: Emerging Prospects

    Turkey discovered the world’s second-largest deposit of rare earth elements (REEs) in 2022, with an estimated reserve size of 694 million tons, making it the world’s second largest REEs deposit after China’s reserves of 800 million tons. China accounts for 60 percent of the worldwide REEs mined production, 85 percent of the world’s REEs processing capacity, and 90 percent share of the manufacturing of high-strength rare earth permanent magnets.