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IPFS News Link • Military

INSANE: The US Relies on China and Russia for Its Ammunition Supply

•, By streiff

The metal is antimony, and China currently owns 53 percent of the world's supply. However, it processes over 80 percent of antimony ore through contracts with other producers. The US's last source of antimony, the Stibnite mine in Idaho, ceased operations in 1997.

It isn't just the military that relies on antimony, though it does appear insane to import the key element in manufacturing modern military munitions from your most likely adversary; the private sector is also heavily reliant on the metal.

For example, consider its usage in the high-tech sector, where it is a key ingredient in semi-conductors, circuit boards, electric switches, fluorescent lighting, high quality clear glass and lithium-ion batteries. No antimony, no iPhones. No hi-definition TVs. No modern kitchen appliances, all of which make use of digital circuitry. Oh, and that car you're thinking about buying? Sorry.

Now, consider this: There can be no "energy transition" without adequate supplies of antimony. That thick, heavy glass used in solar panels? It's made with antimony. Those 300 to 700 foot-tall windmills that sporadically produce electricity? Made with antimony. Antimony is a key element in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, as mentioned above, but even more crucial is the fact that it is integral to the development of the next-generation liquid metal batteries that, as Ecclestone pointed out during the webinar, hold the key to truly scalable energy storage for wind and solar power.

This issue has hit the front burner of Capitol Hill. The House Armed Services Committee is investigating the status of the Defense National Stockpile, which is charged with maintaining a strategic reserve of rare minerals. Our stockpile and the infrastructure to operate it will largely cease to exist by 2025 unless urgent action is taken.

Crap like this simply validates the idea that we are ruled by fools and buffoons. Congress has nearly sold off the stockpile, according to Defense News, " over the past several decades to fund other programs."