United States – A total of 23 metals and minerals – including cobalt, lithium, titanium and beryllium – are ‘critical’ to the national economy and security of the USA, according to a new study released by the US Geological Survey.
The comprehensive report of 800-plus pages, entitled ‘Critical Mineral Resources of the United States – Economic and Environmental Geology and Prospects for Future Supply’ – is said to provide the first such detailed analysis of America’s resource potential since 1973.
With regard to manganese, for example, the report points out that there are no domestic reserves in the USA. ‘Although some large low-grade resources are known, they are far inferior to manganese ores readily available on the international market,’ it is noted.
Global reserves of manganese approximate to 630 million tonnes while annual consumption worldwide is around 16 million tonnes.
Worldwide resources of lithium, meanwhile, are estimated to exceed 39 million tonnes – enough to meet projected demand to the year 2100. The USA is not a major producer ‘but has significant lithium resources’, says the US Geological Survey.
The USA currently imports more than 50% of its lithium needs, 74% of its cobalt and 100% of its manganese and graphite, according to American Manganese Inc.
The company is currently developing a novel method to recycle lithium-ion batteries, pointing out that its patented AMY recycling process is capable of recovering three of the ‘critical’ materials listed in the report, namely cobalt, lithium and manganese.
The process can potentially recover graphite too, adds American Manganese Inc.’s president and ceo Larry Reaugh. ‘This new report clearly ties the lack of access to these key battery materials to negative consequences to the US national economy and national security,’ he states.
‘Our work can help reverse this trend – another signal that markets are looking for new and reliable sources of critical materials supply,´ Reaugh adds.
Click on the link below to read the entire report.