November 25, 2020

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US President Trump signs executive order to expand local rare earth mining

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This executive order issued by Trump instructs relevant departments to apply the National Defense Production Law to accelerate mine development. It is reported that the US government used this law earlier to speed up the production of medical supplies during the new coronavirus pandemic.

On September 30, local time, US President Trump signed an executive order declaring that the mining industry is in a state of emergency and will expand the production of rare earth minerals vital to most manufacturing industries in the United States.

According to a Bloomberg report on September 30, the executive order issued by Trump instructs relevant departments to apply the “National Defense Production Law” to accelerate mine development. It is reported that the US government used this law earlier to speed up the production of medical supplies during the new coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, Trump signed the order on September 30 on his way to the Minnesota state campaign, and he especially hopes to get the support of miners and residents in the state.

China is the world’s largest country in terms of rare earth reserves and the largest producer. Key minerals such as rare earths have always been the focus of attention in the United States. According to a previous report by Bloomberg, 80% of the total imports of rare earth compounds and metals in the United States last year came from China.

On July 27 this year, Lynas Corp, a miner in Australia, a major mining country, issued a statement saying that it has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense and will complete the planning of a rare earth processing plant in Texas in 2021. The initial funding for the project was provided by the US Department of Defense. A Bloomberg report in May pointed out that the initial stages of project involvement and planning may cost about US$30 million.

Rare earths are key materials used in the manufacture of smart phones, lasers, avionics and missile systems. Australia is the world’s second largest country in rare earth production. Lynas Corp produces about 13% of the global rare earth supply.

In July last year, US President Trump issued an order to the US Department of Defense to vigorously promote the development of the rare earth industry. Prior to this, the U.S. State Department had publicized the “Energy Resource Governance Initiative” plan to help countries develop lithium, copper, cobalt and other mineral resources by sharing technology and management experience.

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