U.S. Mining Industry Celebrates Defense Production Act for EV Batteries: Here’s Why

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The U.S. mining industry is quite happy with President Biden using the Defense Production Act for the making of EV batteries. The White House says that electric vehicle battery production is in the interest of national defense. When miners heard this news, they pretty much jumped for joy.

What To Know

  • U.S. mining officials are happy with the enactment of the Defense Production Act.
  • They will be able to get busy and mine for much-needed components.
  • Minerals that are needed include lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese.

Mining EV Batteries Quite Important And Miners Are Rejoicing

The White House and Pentagon both invoked this act to ensure the availability of components for large-capacity batteries. This comes amid the war in Ukraine. What are these components? Well, they include minerals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, National Mining Association President and CEO Rich Nolan applauds the move. He said this move signals the country’s seriousness around sourcing minerals from the U.S. Small businesses could be helped, too. We get more from Yahoo News.

“[It’s] really important that folks know that the United States is open for business, and what’s made in America should also be mined in America,” Nolan said. The group he represents includes a range of companies, including those involved in coal mining.

Additionally, President Biden said that this move was “a directive to strengthen our clean energy economy.” Biden added that it’s part of an effort to “end our long-term reliance on China and other countries for inputs that will power the future.”

Administrative Directive Will Benefit Miners Right Now

But in the immediate term, miners will benefit the most from the administration’s directive. Now, this effort is part of a broader push to encourage American independence around these precious minerals. They happen to fuel much of modern life but come from places like Russia and Ukraine as well as China.

“We are currently vulnerable to unreliable supply chains, which affects our national security [and] it also affects our economic security as well,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told reporters on Thursday.

Nolan also says we’re behind China when it comes to both mining and processing key minerals. The invocation of the Defense Production Act of 1950 — which allows the president to require businesses to take actions deemed necessary for national defense — allows the White House to force the building up of domestic production capability in these key materials. In other words, it paves the way for more mining. We get more from Popular Science.

Prices for many crucial metals have shot up in recent weeks. The price of nickel made huge jumps in March before returning to Earth a bit. In conclusion, copper and aluminum markets saw similar spikes.