US President Donald Trump has declared an emergency over the country's growing dependence on foreign minerals, Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross said during a visit to the Rio Tinto Resolution copper mine in Phoenix, Arizona.
Donald Trump has signed a decree aimed at removing threats to the domestic supply chain due to the dependence on critical minerals from potential adversaries from abroad.
White House efforts will focus on expanding the domestic mining industry, supporting mining jobs, reducing unnecessary permit delays, and reducing US dependence on China and other countries for critical minerals.
The United States is currently dependent on the import of most essential minerals. Almost all of the minerals used by the US industry are half imported. In addition, the United States has no domestic production of 14 essential minerals and is completely dependent on imports to meet their demand.
Wilbur Ross said that Washington has revised a 20-year agreement that will support the American uranium mining and processing industry by reducing Russian exports to the country.
“We are grateful for your $ 2 billion investment in the project to date and for the upcoming $ 11 billion investment in the mine,” Ross told Rio Tinto managers.
The Resolution Copper project is expected to create new jobs for 3,700 people, paying $ 134 million in wages and benefits each year. It is slated to provide 20 percent of US copper demand in the near future.