NFFS supports call to add copper to USGS critical minerals list
On Friday, January 27, 2023, the Non-Ferrous Founders' Society joined the Copper Development Association in calling on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to add Copper to its Critical Minerals list. The U.S. Critical Minerals List, originally developed by executive order in 2018 and codified by the Energy Act of 2020, contains minerals deemed essential to the economic or national security of the U.S. and that have a supply chain vulnerable to disruption. The list was created to increase activity at all levels of the supply chain, including exploration, mining, concentration, separation, alloying, recycling, and reprocessing minerals. Since its inception, the list has become the shorthand way to refer to important minerals and is cited in dozens of legislative proposals intended to support those minerals through tax credits, government purchases, and permitting support. Despite its clear criticality and dramatic uptick in import penetration from adversarial countries, copper was not included on the 2022 U.S. Critical Mineral List.
Given the significant change in the supply risk to copper, which shows no signs of slowing down, the Secretary of Interior should exercise the authority given to her by statute to officially add copper to the Critical Mineral List immediately.
Additonal information regarding the CDA effort requesting the USGS to include copper on the critical minerals list is available at https://info.copper.org/copper-is-critical.