Few minerals are more appropriate for the critical minerals list than molybdenum (moly). Critical Minerals of the United States is a list issued by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that identifies mineral commodities that have “important uses and no viable substitutes yet face potential disruption in supply” and are “defined as critical to the Nation’s economic and national security”.
China retains control of 56 percent of the world’s moly compared to 18 percent controlled by the U.S. Furthermore, Chinese moly producers operate archaic and environmentally compromising facilities that are expected to be shut down by the government until they comply with environmental standards. An action that could tighten China’s grip on moly and create a supply chain disruption for crucial U.S. industries.
Idaho CuMo is leading a lobbying effort to have molybdenum added to the Critical Minerals list which would provide certain protections and priorities for permitting and development. The U.S. Department of Interior is, currently, evaluating comments regarding the draft 2018 Critical Minerals list.
The draft list is comprised of 35 minerals considered crucial to the U.S. economy and national security. The list included rhenium, which is most cost-effectively produced as a byproduct of molybdenum processing and is an important part of the economics of the CuMo Project.
While the codependence between rhenium and molybdenum was identified in comments accompanying the list, decision makers did not classify moly as a critical mineral. Proponents of the CuMo Project are encouraged to lobby decision makers to add molybdenum to the 2018 Critical Minerals list. If molybdenum does not make the final cut for 2018, Idaho CuMo will continue the effort until it is rightfully classified as a critical mineral
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