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IPFS News Link • Supply Chain Disruption

Charted: America's Import Reliance of Key Minerals

•, By Niccolo Conte

Specifically, the U.S. is 100% reliant on imports for at least 12 key minerals deemed critical by the government, with China being the primary import source for many of these along with many other critical minerals.

This graphic uses data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to visualize America's import dependence for 30 different key nonfuel minerals along with the nation that the U.S. primarily imports each mineral from.

U.S. Import Reliance, by Mineral

While the U.S. mines and processes a significant amount of minerals domestically, in 2022 imports still accounted for more than half of the country's consumption of 51 nonfuel minerals. The USGS calculates a net import reliance as a percentage of apparent consumption, showing how much of U.S. demand for each mineral is met through imports.

Of the most important minerals deemed by the USGS, the U.S. was 95% or more reliant on imports for 13 different minerals, with China being the primary import source for more than half of these.

These include rare earths (a group of 17 nearly indistinguishable heavy metals with similar properties) which are essential in technology, high-powered magnets, electronics, and industry, along with natural graphite which is found in lithium-ion batteries.

These are all on the U.S. government's critical mineral list which has a total of 50 minerals, and the U.S. is 50% or more import reliant for 43 of these minerals.

Some other minerals on the official list which the U.S. is 100% reliant on imports for are arsenic, fluorspar, indium, manganese, niobium, and tantalum, which are used in a variety of applications like the production of alloys and semiconductors along with the manufacturing of electronic components like LCD screens and capacitors.