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Critical-Mineral Diplomacy Needs to Focus on Supply, Not Demand

Stephen Wilmot of The Wall Street Journal reports on the US/EU efforts to meet critical mineral demand.

The C3 Take
  • The EU and US have begun to discuss critical mineral sourcing agreements with allied countries.
  • The EU is also considering a bill that would speed up its permitting process to no more than 24 months for mines and no more than 12 months for processing plants.
  • The US can learn from Europe’s policies by implementing permitting reform to reduce timelines that stall critical mineral mining development.
  • The United States should also look to free trade agreements with allied nations to reduce its dependence on China’s rare earth mineral supply chain.

“The EU struggled politically to deal with competitive bidding among its member states first for vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic, then for natural gas after Russia cut pipeline supplies last year. It understandably wants to avoid similar problems with new-energy metals. But high vaccine and gas prices caused by competitive bidding also generated results: Europe got vaccinated and gas inventories were refilled. Likewise, last year’s sky-high lithium prices triggered investment. Politicians dull price signals at their peril.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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