CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS - Energy.gov

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CRITICALMINERALSANDMATERIALSU.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S STRATEGY TO SUPPORTDOMESTIC CRITICAL MINERAL AND MATERIAL SUPPLY CHAINS(FY 2021–FY 2031)

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-FY 2031)Executive SummaryCritical minerals and materials are used in manyproducts important to the United States economy andnational security. Thus, the assured supply of criticalminerals and materials and the resiliency of their supplychains are essential to the economic prosperity andnational defense of the United States. Of the 35 mineralcommodities identified as critical in the list1 published inthe Federal Register by the Secretary of the Interior, theUnited States lacks domestic production of 142 and ismore than 50 percent import-reliant for 31.3 This importdependence puts industrial supply chains, UnitedStates companies, and material users at significant risk.Recognizing the critical minerals and materialschallenge facing the United States, President Trump,on December 20, 2017, issued Executive Order 13817(E.O. 13817), A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secureand Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals,4 whichidentified actions to reduce our Nation’s reliance onimports, preserve our leadership in technologicalinnovation, support job creation, and improve nationalsecurity and the balance of trade. The Department ofCommerce published a report required by E.O. 13817on June 4, 2019.5 The report established a coordinatedFederal Strategy to address critical mineral and materialsupply chain challenges through calls to action andspecific recommendations focused on research anddevelopment, industrial supply chain development,mapping improvements, permitting, and workforcedevelopment.To advance further action on mitigating the nationalcritical minerals and materials challenge, on September30, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order13953 (E.O. 13953), Addressing the Threat to theDomestic Supply Chain from Reliance on CriticalMinerals from Foreign Adversaries and Supporting theDomestic Mining and Processing Industries,6 whichdirected agencies to examine potential authorities andprepare agency-specific plans to improve the mining,processing, and manufacturing of critical minerals andmaterials.To meet this Order, the Department of Energy (DOE)has prepared this strategy, which describes theobjective, goals, and organizational methods DOE willemploy across the entire enterprise. DOE’s crosscuttingstrategy for addressing critical minerals and materialsis supported by three key pillars: diversifying supply,developing substitutes, and improving reuse andrecycling.The strategy has been developed with insightsgleaned from current extensive internal and externalcoordination activities. DOE was a key agency inthe development of the Federal Strategy on CriticalMinerals and is the co-chair of the National Science& Technology Council (NSTC) Critical MineralsSubcommittee. In developing and executing criticalminerals and materials work, DOE has regularlyinteracted with and across interagency partners, andcoordinates work through the White House ExecutiveOffice of the National Security Presidential Memoranda(NSPM) process. In particular, DOE has forged a strongworking relationship with the Departments of Defense,Interior, Commerce, and State, and has establishedstrong international partnerships on the topic of criticalminerals with Canada, Australia, the European Union,and Japan.VisionThe Department of Energy will be anessential source of science, technology, andengineering solutions for re-establishing U.S.competitiveness in critical mineral and materialsupply chains1Aluminum (bauxite), antimony, arsenic, barite, beryllium, bismuth, cesium, chromium, cobalt, fluorspar, gallium, germanium, graphite (natural),hafnium, helium, indium, lithium, magnesium, manganese, niobium, platinum group metals, potash, the rare earth elements group, rhenium,rubidium, scandium, strontium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, and zirconium. Final List of Critical Minerals 2018,U.S. Department of the Interior, 83 Fed. Reg. 23295, 2018, pdf/2018-10667.pdf2Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018, U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, https://doi.org/10.3133/701949323Final List of Critical Minerals 2018, U.S. Department of the Interior, 83 Fed. Reg. 23295; -20184Executive Office of the President, 2017, pdf/2017-27899.pdf5A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, U.S. Department of Commerce 2019 ritical-minerals6Executive Office of the President, 2020, pdf/2020-22064.pdfi

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-F Y2031)Strategic GoalsPrinciples1. Foster scientific innovation and develop technologiesthat will ensure resilient and secure critical mineraland material supply chains independent of resourcesand processing from foreign adversaries.These four goals are underpinned by four foundationalprinciples:2. Catalyze and support private sector adoption andcapacity for sustainable domestic critical mineral andmaterial supply chains. DOE’s critical minerals and materials efforts will bebalanced across three pillars: diversify supply chains,develop substitutes, improve reuse and recycling.3. Build the long-term minerals and materials innovationecosystem—fostering new capabilities to mitigatefuture critical mineral and material supply chainchallenges. DOE will coordinate and collaborate across programoffices; leverage DOE’s National Laboratories; andincrease industrial engagement and partner withforeign allies to strategically address these mineral andmaterial supply chains challenges.4. Coordinate with international partners and alliesand other Federal agencies to diversify global supplychains and ensure the adoption of best practices forsustainable mining and processing. DOE will use its broad capabilities and uniqueauthorities to explore and develop sustainable criticalmineral and material supply chains. DOE’s critical mineral and material efforts will beinformed and prioritized by criticality and supply chainanalysis. These analyses will guide DOE’s strategy andactivities to address key supply vulnerabilities.This strategy also outlines a series of programmaticobjectives and lines of action that DOE will pursueto support the requirements and needs of other U.S.agencies and industry, consistent with the strategicgoals and principles.ii

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-FY 2031)Table of ContentsExecutive Summary.iThe DOE Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies ofCritical Minerals. 1Current DOE Activities. 3The DOE Strategy.7Methodology (Developing the DOE Strategy). 9Goals and Objectives.11Appendix A: List of Authorities. 29iii

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-F Y2031)This page intentionally left blank.The reinvigorated U.S. space strategy has challengedus to think differently about the space domain. To doso, the Department of Energy must be bold; it must applyits scientific and engineering talents to overcome thechallenges of vast distances, extreme conditions, complexoperations, and unfamiliar environments to propel andpower exploration, security, and commerce in space. TheDepartment has an accomplished history in America’sspace ventures – of reaching to, and beyond the horizon.And the Department stands ready to be an essential partof advancing America’s space leadership in the future.Thus, I argue that in many ways, DOE actually stands forthe “Department of Exploration.”—Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Energyiv

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-FY 2031)The DOE Strategy to Ensure Secure andReliable Supplies of Critical MineralsExecutive Orders have catalyzed coordinated efforts,across the Federal Government, on critical minerals. Inthe most recent, on September 30, 2020, the Presidentsigned Executive Order 13953 (E.O. 13953), Addressingthe Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain from Relianceon Critical Minerals from Foreign Adversaries andSupporting the Domestic Mining and ProcessingIndustries.E.O. 13953 requires that DOE: Within 30 days of the date of the Executive Order,submit a report to the President that identifies all legalauthorities and appropriations that the agency can useto meet the goals identified in the Executive Order (seeAppendix A); Within 60 days of the date of the Executive Order,submit the agency’s strategy for using the legalauthorities and appropriations identified to meet thegoals of the Executive Order. The report shall explainhow the agency’s activities will be organized and howit proposes to coordinate relevant activities with otheragencies; Within 30 days of the date of the Executive Order,develop and publish guidance clarifying the extent towhich projects that support domestic supply chains forminerals are eligible for loan guarantees pursuant toTitle XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as amended,and fund awards and loans pursuant to the AdvancedTechnology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) incentiveprogram established by section 136 of the EnergyIndependence and Security Act of 2007, as amended; Within 30 days of the date of the Executive Order,review its regulations (including any preambles thereto)interpreting Title XVII and the ATVM statute, includingthe regulations published at 81 Fed. Reg. 90,699 (Dec.15, 2016) and 73 Fed. Reg. 66,721 (Nov. 12, 2008), andidentify all such regulations that may warrant revisionor reconsideration in order to expand and protectthe domestic supply chain for minerals (including thedevelopment of new supply chains and the processing,remediation, and reuse of materials already in interstatecommerce or otherwise available domestically); Within 90 days of the date of the Executive Order,propose for notice and comment a rule or rules to reviseor reconsider any such regulations for this purpose, asappropriate and consistent with applicable law; and Examine available authorities of DOE and identifyany such authorities that could be used to accelerateand encourage the development and reuse of historiccoal waste areas, materials on historic mining sites,and abandoned mining sites for the recovery of criticalminerals.This Department strategy (DOE Strategy) fulfills theimmediate planning direction under E.O. 13953 andlays out future actions to guide the agency forward.The authorities gathered and identified in AppendixA informed the writing of this strategy and all of thestrategic goals and objectives delineated herein.Further, the new guidance and rules published byDOE in support of increased access to the DOE LoanPrograms for critical minerals and materials projectsconstitute an important tool to support private sectorinnovators and are therefore an integral element ofthis strategy. DOE is publishing and disseminating thestrategy required by E.O. 13953 to better communicateits vision for DOE’s essential role in solving the criticalminerals and materials challenges facing the UnitedStates over the coming decade.The Federal Strategy andDOE’s Role in ExecutionThe Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and ReliableSupplies of Critical Minerals (Federal Strategy) wasreleased in June 2019 by the Department of Commerce(DOC) in response to Executive Order (E.O.) 13817.The Federal Strategy was written by the NSTC CriticalMinerals Subcommittee. The Federal Strategy providesthe umbrella framework for the goals of agencies andis structured around six Calls to Action to address keycritical mineral supply chain challenges. Each Call toAction has several recommendations articulated. Thespecific Calls to Action are:1

Critical Minerals and Materials: U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategy to Support Domestic Critical Mineral and Material Supply Chains (FY 2021-F Y2031)Calls to Action1. Advance TransformationalResearch, Development,and Deployment AcrossGoals directly related to DOECoordinate R&D strategy across critical mineral supply chains; Increase U.S.private industry investment in innovation and improve technology transferCritical Mineral SupplyChains (DOE Lead)2. Strengthen America’sCritical Mineral Supply Chainsand Defense IndustrialUnderstand and support the critical minerals industry and relatedsupply chain; Leverage expertise from DOE stakeholdersBase (NNSA Co-Lead)3. Enhance InternationalTrade and CooperationIncrease international exchanges with partner nationsRelated to Critical Minerals4. Improve Understandingof Domestic CriticalMineral ResourcesEnable commodity-specific mitigation strategies; Encourage the useof secondary and unconventional sources of critical minerals5. Improve Access to DomesticCritical Mineral Resources onN/A; Call to Action 5 is a Department of the Interior focusedFederal Lands and Reduceeffort in response to a Sec