The U.S. wants to secure a domestic rare earth supply chain to reduce its vulnerability to China's supply chain control. China controls almost 60% of rare earth mining operations, over 85% of processing capacity, and more than 90% of permanent magnet production.
This article makes the following points:
- The issue poses a vulnerability for U.S. supply chains and is a potential national security risk.
- Mountain Pass (M.P.) Materials, the largest rare earth mine in the U.S., is building a rare earth refinement facility.
- The U.S. Defense Department awarded M.P. Materials a $35m contract in February 2022 to process heavy rare earth elements.
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