October 13, 2011
By Hal Quinn, President and CEO, National Mining Association
A Pentagon report to Congress revealed that our nation’s reliance on China for rare earth minerals could weaken U.S. military efforts. Essential to a range of defense technologies, including night vision goggles and fighter aircraft, rare earths help prepare our military and protect our nation.
The report also noted the strategic importance of rare earths. U.S. industries depend on imports for 100 percent of their rare earths supplies, and growing demand from developing countries means the U.S. must compete for these resources on the international market. Import dependence also exposes the United States to supply disruptions and export restrictions in producing countries.