• Addressing China’s Growing Influence over Latin America’s Mineral Resources

    The United States and its partners in the hemisphere must address a major strategic challenge: China’s growing influence over Latin America’s critical and natural mineral resources. Adina Renee Adler and Haley Ryan write that “Allowing a geostrategic competitor like China to wield disproportionate influence over access to critical minerals—or allowing production to become concentrated in a single geographic region—poses a serious risk to the United States and its allies.”

  • China Looks to Africa in Race for Lithium

    Electric cars, and other green technologies, are dependent on lithium, and growing demand has caused the prices for lithium to increase by almost 500 percent in the past year. Africa has ample resources of lithium, and China is leading the race to control the continent’s lithium resources.

  • The "Rock-to-Metal Ratio" of Critical Minerals

    A new metric to quantify the amount of waste rock generated by mining for minerals essential to 21st century society has been created by the U.S. Geological Survey and Apple.

  • Reviving the National Defense Stockpile Funding

    Established during World War II, the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) ensures that the Department of Defense can access key materials necessary to maintain readiness in the event of a major supply chain disruption. Current critical minerals stockpile is inadequate to meet the requirements of great power competition.

  • Chinese Rare Earth Consolidation a Cause for Concern

    The world needs more readily available rare earth metals. Over the coming decades, demand for rare earths is forecasted to increase by two to eight times over current supply. Through effective long-term investment across the rare earth supply chain, China has earned some 50–60 per cent of the mining market share and around 90 per cent in the intermediate processing stage.

  • The EU's Risky Dependency on Critical Chinese Metals

    The EU needs critical metals and rare earths to succeed in its energy transition and digitization drive. But even as the EU tries hard to cut its energy supplies from Russia, the bloc is also heavily dependent on China when it comes to the industrial metals and rare earths.

  • A Headache for Germany: Russian Nickel, Palladium, Chromium Exports

    Russian gas and oil are by far the most significant exports Moscow sells to Germany. Yet other important raw materials are also under the spotlight because of the war in Ukraine.

  • Ukraine War’s Impact on Critical Materials Supply, Green Energy

    The elephant in the room is Europe’s dependence on the vast quantities of hydrocarbons that flow from Russia into Europe, but Putin’s war on Ukraine has the potential to affect many key supply chains for materials that will contribute to the clean energy transition.

  • German Auto Industry Alarmed Over Lack of Raw Materials

    Critical raw materials from Russia and Ukraine could become increasingly scarce as a result of the conflict. Car industry experts called on the EU to seek new markets and boost the domestic extraction of key metals.

  • Giving New Life to Old Concrete Structures Through “Vascularization”

    Concrete is a ubiquitous building material, and it is often cited as the most consumed commodity on Earth, second only to potable water. As this inherited concrete infrastructure continues to age, maintaining and repairing concrete is of increasing strategic importance to both defense and civilian infrastructure. DARPA’s BRACE program aims to revitalize legacy DoD infrastructure to extend its serviceability.

  • Artificial Intelligence’s Promise: Discovering New Rare-Earth Compounds

    Rare earth elements have a wide range of uses including clean energy technologies, energy storage, permanent magnets, defense technology, and much more. Artificial intelligence advances how scientists explore materials, and researchers have developed an AI-based framework for experimenting with compounds and understanding chemical instabilities.

  • 2022 List of Critical Minerals

    The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new list of 50 mineral commodities critical to the U.S. economy and national security. The 2022 list of critical minerals was determined using the most up-to-date scientific methods to evaluate mineral criticality.

  • U.S. to Bolster Critical Mineral Supply Chain

    The U.S. federal government and private sector are taking actions to bolster the supply chain for rare earths and other critical minerals used in technologies from household appliances and electronics to defense systems. These steps will reduce the U.S. dependence on China, a major producer of these elements.

  • U.S. Mines Produced Approximately $90.4 Billion in Mineral Commodities

    U.S. mines produced approximately $90.4 billion in mineral commodities in 2021—a $9.7 billion increase over the 2020 revised total of $80.7 billion. Increases in consumption of nonfuel mineral commodities were attributed to the restarting of markets in 2021 following closures due to the global COVID 19 pandemic in the prior year.

  • Functionally Graded Material Resistant to Blasts, Fire in buildings

    When a bomb goes off or fire breaks out, a building constructed or retrofitted with an engineered composite currently confined to special applications could buy the surviving occupants extra time to get out. Functionally graded material (FGM), a recently developed composite characterized by the gradual variation of material properties across its thickness, is an effective bomb-resistant material in structural uses.