Article: US Congress warned military exposed to critical metals threat! Published July 26, by Metal Pages.
The US must continue to search for substitutes to replace rare strategic metals and other critical materials as man-made composites would be the best long-term solution to decrease dependence on these scarce elements, an influential US Congressional subcommittee was told yesterday.
Retired Guardian Six Consulting President and Brigadier General John Adams told the subcommittee on Foreign Affairs in Washington in a statement that the US consumer`s lifestyle requires roughly 25,000 pounds of non-fuel minerals per year, requiring massive efforts to either extract or import these materials.
Each year, the US Department of Defense (DOD) acquires nearly 750,000 tones of minerals for an array of defence and military functions.
He added that “the US runs a deficit of $27 billion on the balance of processed mineral materials because it exported $120 billion and imported $147 billion in 2012. In short, although the US is self-sufficient in many minerals and has the chemical engineering know-how to process them, to some extent; it has chosen to rely on imports.”
He said that many advanced countries had abandoned mining and mining exploration though global demand for economically and militarily significant ores and chemical elements had risen and will continue to rise.
The statement echoes a report released by Adams earlier this year called ‘Remaking American Security: Supply Chain Vulnerabilities & National Security Risks across the U.S. Defense Industrial Base’
“The risk of disruptions to the supply chains that use specialty metals is high, jeopardising US national security. Various US agencies recognise the risks, but they provide different and divergent answers and solutions. The lack of a mechanism to coordinate policies among agencies hampers the development of a comprehensive and coherent strategy.”
Other recommendations were that recycling must be strengthened and manufacturers should use “extracted materials that facilitate recycling and re-use. Also he said that different government and non-government agencies should co-ordinate their efforts to map out a proper long-term specialty metals supply chain.
Adams said that a “new system of stockpiling or inventory should be designed to mitigate the impact of possible supply disruptions.” He also called for the US Geological Survey (USGS) to be better funded as past budget cuts have inhibited its ability to collect and inform the nation of emerging supply constraints.
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Source: The above story is reprinted from an article that appeared in Metal Pages on July 26. The original article was written by Andi Spicer. Click here to view the original article.