Biden administration issues critical and strategic mineral policy

Biden administration releases memorandum on strategic and critical minerals

The Biden administration today issued a Clean Energy Memorandum to protect critical infrastructure supply of all critical strategic minerals.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, April 8, 2022 / — As a member of Biden Administration’s National Defense Strategy, the administration today released a clean energy economy-related memorandum to protect critical and strategic infrastructure supplies for the clean energy transition, including lithium, graphite and manganese for large capacity batteries, as well as the sustainable supply of all critical and strategic minerals which includes boron.

Source: of-1950-as-amended/

Citing its overreliance on “unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials needed for the clean energy transition,” the memo states its intention to “secure the supply of these materials through national exploitation and treatment respectful of the environment; recycling and reuse; and recovery from unconventional and secondary sources, such as mining waste”.

Sustainable and Responsible Mining
The memorandum specifically refers to “sustainable and responsible domestic mining, beneficiation and value-added processing of strategic and critical materials for the production of high-capacity batteries for the automotive, electric mobility sectors. and stationary storage (are) essential to national defence”.

Purchase commitments
The document further commits the administration to “purchase commitments” or other actions for expedited methods to achieve the objectives stated above and to support feasibility studies for mining and value-added processes to increase productivity in national mines.

Investigations and expansion of mining
The memorandum also indicates its intention to investigate and expand “sustainable and responsible domestic mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing of strategic and critical materials needed to produce high-capacity batteries for the automotive, electric mobility and stationary storage”. ”.

The full text of the press release is available here.

Boron has not been added to the list of critical minerals to date, but it is certainly considered a strategic mineral given its multiple applications in decarbonization and clean energy applications and solutions. Boron is found in batteries for electric vehicles, in neodymium magnets that power wind turbines, for example, and boron nitride nanotubes offer clear advantages for harnessing and conducting energy as a superconducting material in circuitry electronics, as well as being essential for nuclear energy.

Boron Nitride Nanotubes
Boron nitride nanotubes are a relatively new material that has been the subject of much research in recent years. They are handy for creating conductive and non-conductive materials, which is especially useful for companies that need different types of insulation or shielding. Boron nitride nanotubes have many advantages over other materials, including high tensile strength, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and high temperature stability.

Boron nitride nanotubes have been a topic of interest to the scientific community for decades. Their use has a variety of applications in different industries including, but not limited to: photonics, electronics and optics. A characteristic that distinguishes them from other nanomaterials is their ability to be an excellent thermal conductor while maintaining low electrical resistance. This makes boron nitride nanotubes attractive as heat sinks for electronic devices such as computers and cell phones.

Neodymium magnets
A neodymium or NdFeB magnet, or Neo magnet, is the most commonly used rare earth magnet. It is constructed from an alloy of neodymium, iron and boron to form the Nd2Fe14B crystal structure. The magnetic properties of neodymium magnets depend on the alloy composition, microstructure and manufacturing technique used.

The magnet was first independently developed in 1984 by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals, forming the basis for marketing as the most vital type of neodymium magnet available today.

Neodymium is a magnetic metal with antiferromagnetic properties. Its magnetic properties appear at low temperatures below 19 K (-425.5°F) in its purest form. However, some neodymium compounds with “transition metals”, i.e. iron and ferromagnetic, have Curie temperatures well above room temperature. These compounds are used to make neodymium magnets.

5th State of Advanced Materials Critical Infrastructure
In late 2021, the government designated the company’s Fort Cady, California facility for its reserves to be included as “in the interest of national security.”

5th Advanced Materials – formerly ABR – at Fort Cady Integrated Boron Facility has been designated as critical infrastructure by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The designation of “critical status” is a sign that the US government considers Fort Cady and its reserves to be in the interest of national security.

The designation validates Fort Cady’s role in providing an essential new national source of boron within a challenging global supply chain. CISA, as a US federal agency and operational component of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for understanding, managing, and mitigating risks to the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure.

Brendan McMahon
[email protected]

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