Critical Minerals

Critical Minerals List and Molybdenum

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


You can help!


  1. Use these helpful links to identify the decision makers that will be most responsive to your concern.
    Federally Elected Officials
    U.S. House of Representatives
    U.S. Senate

    State Elected Officials
    State Legislators
  2. Develop a message that is clear and concise. Congressional members and their staff keep very busy schedules. To be most effective, convey messages as a short script or in written bullet points.
  3. Contact the relevant decision makers in one or more of the following ways:


  • Locate your elected officials at the state level and in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
  • Staff members keep a tally of every issue that constituents contact their elected official about. This information goes into a report that is viewed by the elected official and senior staff. Just one email or letter will get our issue on their radar. All it takes is a few seconds of your time to advocate on behalf of mining.

Calling Your Elected Officials

  • Locate your elected officials at the state level and in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
  • Add their numbers to your phone.
  • Turn your idle time into advocacy time. Calls typically last fewer than 30 seconds-so call weekly. Be sure to give them your name, address and zip code.

Meeting Face To Face

  • Locate your elected officials at the state level and in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
  • Go to your elected official’s website and fill out a request for meeting or call the office directly.
  • Prepare for your meeting with simple talking points. You do not need to be an expert on mining to discuss the importance of mining to you.

Additional tips for supporting the CuMo Project

  • STAY INFORMED – Vet information offered through media and community sources. Contact the Idaho CuMo Project with your questions.
  • STAND UP – Invest in issues that are important to you. Determine the best way to influence decisions and get involved.
  • SHOW UP – Your vote counts! Research the candidates and vote for those who match your values in local, state, and national elections.
  • SPEAK UP – Find your voice and use it effectively. Lobby your elected officials.
  • SERVE – Serve on an advisory council or get involved with community engagement groups.