Advances President Trump’s strategy to ensure reliable supplies of domestic critical minerals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy has issued new guidance for applications to the Loan Programs Office, stating a preference for projects related to critical minerals. Pursuant to President Trump’s September 2020 Executive Order Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain from Reliance on Critical Minerals from Foreign Adversaries and December 2017 Executive Order on A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, it is the policy of DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) to consider all eligible projects under Title XVII and the ATVM Statute in the context of Critical Minerals. 

“Reliable access to domestically-produced critical minerals is of national importance. These critical minerals make up necessary products for our military, energy technologies, national infrastructure, and economy. Our country needs critical minerals to make airplanes, computers, cell phones, electricity generation and transmission systems, and advanced electronics,” said Secretary Brouillette. “For too long we have been reliant on foreign adversaries like China for the production and supply of these minerals. It is imperative we utilize the tools of the federal government to help establish a robust domestic supply chain of these thirty-five critical minerals.”

For 31 of the 35 critical minerals, the United States imports more than half of its annual consumption, and 80 percent of its rare earth elements directly from China. Since gaining this advantage, China has exploited its position in the rare earth elements market by coercing industries that rely on these elements to locate their facilities, intellectual property, and technology in China.

The United States has no domestic production for 14 of the critical minerals and is completely dependent on imports to supply its demand. President Trump is committed to enhancing U.S. mining and processing capacity for these minerals. By expanding and strengthening domestic mining and processing capacity today, this Administration guards against the possibility of supply chain disruptions, while growing the U.S. economy and strengthening military readiness.

Consistent with the policies expressed in the aforementioned Executive Orders, it is the policy of LPO to interpret the Title XVII Program and the ATVM Program broadly to encourage applications from potential projects involving the production, manufacture, recycling, processing, recovery, or reuse of Critical Minerals and other minerals. LPO will evaluate all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Interested parties are invited to submit applications electronically through the following link: https://www.energy.gov/lpo/application-process. For further information on the application process for either program, please see: https://www.energy.gov/lpo/loan-programs-office.

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