Just like essential nutrients are necessary for a healthy body, critical minerals are necessary for a healthy economy. And a healthy national security. And a healthy educational system. Basically all aspects of an overall healthy society in these modern times.
The United States Geological Survey Report on a Critical Mineral List discusses 35 mineral commodities that we are dependent on. So whether it’s indium for LCD screens and aircraft wind shielding, cobalt for iPhones, uranium for nuclear reactors, rare earth elements for wind turbine magnets, or lithium for rechargeable batteries, if we do not have an ample supply of each, we risk specific losses in economic vigor or national security vulnerability. Bad things happen.
Thus, the need for Executive Order 13817. Ordered in 2017, the list contains those elements that are “essential to the economic and national security of the United States, that has a supply chain vulnerable to disruption, and that serves an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have significant consequences for the economy or national security.”