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US MINES Act seeks to curb Russia, China grip on critical minerals

US MINES act seeks to curb Russia, China grip on critical minerals
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Republican congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) this week introduced the Monitoring and Investigating Nations Exploiting States (MINES) Act to “hold China and Russia accountable for their efforts to monopolize critical mineral resources around the world, particularly in developing nations.”

According to the press release, it is an original co-sponsor of the MINES Act which provides the US with “additional tools to assess the growing exploitation of critical minerals in small states by China and Russia.” 

“Reliable access to critical minerals is essential to America’s economic and national security,” said Calvert: 

“America must be clear-eyed about the Chinese and Russian aggression when it comes to consolidating critical mineral resources.”

“It’s hard to overstate just how tight of a stranglehold Russia and China are developing on resources supply chains worldwide,” said House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (AR-4), a co-sponsor: 

“While the Biden administration locks up sustainable mining here in the U.S., our adversaries are wasting no time stepping into that void and controlling critical minerals around the globe.” 

The MINES Act is supported by the American Exploration & Mining Association and the Uranium Producers of America.

The MINES Act:

  • Requires annual reports for the next five years on the role of Russia, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and state-sponsored companies in planning, financing, and operating critical minerals mines in countries on which the United States is dependent for mineral imports and evaluating the national security risks thereof;
  • Requires the Department of the Interior, as it conducts comprehensive assessments of each critical mineral as directed by Congress, to monitor and report on the involvement of the CCP or CCP-sponsored companies in developing critical mineral resources in Afghanistan; and
  • Provides the U.S. Geological Survey the authority to update the list of critical minerals more frequently than every three years in response to changing geopolitical conditions. This issue came to light as USGS could not update the critical minerals list to reflect the impacts of the war in Ukraine.

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