The US is working with a network of private companies to help spur investment in up to 15 global critical-minerals projects designed to create a more secure supply chain of key metals.
(Bloomberg) — The US is working with a network of private companies to help spur investment in up to 15 global critical-minerals projects designed to create a more secure supply chain of key metals.
The consortium, which includes mining and technology firms, will act as sources of information and investment for the Minerals Security Partnership, which comprises of 14 nations including the US, UK, European Union and Japan. The countries, along with some large producing nations, will meet in London on Oct. 10 to discuss how to finance the critical mineral projects, as well as environmental concerns. The focus will be on minerals used in electric car batteries.
“We’re now looking at 15 projects on five continents, ranging from extraction to processing,” Jose Fernandez, US under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, said at a press briefing in London on Thursday. One of those projects may be in the UK.
“It’s a project that is very promising that we are eager to support,” he said of the UK project. “No country can do it alone.”
Read More: Why the Fight for ‘Critical Minerals’ Is Heating Up: QuickTake
Encouraging private sector companies to invest is a crucial part of the partnership’s aim to funnel foreign investment into a sector that supplies the raw materials crucial to the EVs and solar panels that underpin efforts to usher in a greener economy.
The US and other nations are also focused on securing a resource supply chain that’s crucial to advanced manufacturing but remains almost totally dominated by China, which controls most of the market for processing and refining minerals such as cobalt, lithium and other rare earths.
Read More: US Seeks to Bolster Lithium, Cobalt Supply Chains Beyond China
The US signed a critical minerals agreement with Japan earlier this year which allows EVs that use materials that have been collected or processed in Japan to be eligible for incentives under the US Inflation Reduction Act, and is negotiating similar deals with the EU and UK, Fernandez said.
“We’re currently in conversations with both the EU and with the UK and those conversations are intense, they are ongoing,” he said.
(Updates with fresh Fernandez quote in 3rd paragraph. A previous version of this story was corrected to reflect that the US isn’t planning to unveil 15 projects at this time.)
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