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Critical Minerals: Information Series

The United States is dependent on imports for minerals critical to the nation’s economy and security. To raise awareness of the vulnerabilities of U.S. mineral supply chains and to stimulate action for bolstering reliable access to these essential resources, BENS created the following information series. The U.S. government has designated 35 minerals or mineral material groups as critical minerals, including the rare earth elements group made up of 17 crucial rare earth elements (REEs). Critical minerals are key components for computers, energy generation, healthcare devices, weapons systems, and more. Yet, despite their importance, the U.S. is between 75% and 100% import-dependent for 23 of 35 critical minerals; and 100% import-dependent for REEs. Diversifying critical minerals supply chains is a national security imperative, and progress to improve U.S. access to critical minerals must continue.

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