The Renewables Monthly Metals Index (MMI) slipped by 2.5% for this month’s reading.
(Editor’s note: This report also includes the MMI for grain-oriented electrical steel, or GOES.)
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Biden looks to Defense Production Act to boost domestic production
As we noted in the Rare Earths MMI report, President Joe Biden recently called upon a provision of the Defense Production Act to boost domestic production of materials needed for large-capacity batteries and infrastructure.
The move comes over a year after the president’s executive order on supply chains. In that order, Biden called for 100-day reviews of critical U.S. supply chains. The president specifically targeted semiconductors, high-capacity batteries, critical minerals and pharmaceuticals.
Meanwhile, in his use of the Cold War-era Defense Production Act, the president seeks to boost domestic production of important battery materials.
“The United States depends on unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials necessary for the clean energy transition — such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese for large-capacity batteries,” a March 31 memo from the White House states. “Demand for such materials is projected to increase exponentially as the world transitions to a clean energy economy.”
In the order, Biden calls on the secretary of defense to “create, maintain, protect, expand, or restore sustainable and responsible domestic production capabilities of such strategic and critical materials by supporting feasibility studies for mature mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing projects.”
Furthermore, the secretary will also consult with other agency heads to survey the domestic industrial base “for the mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing of strategic and critical materials for the production of large-capacity batteries for the automotive, e-mobility, and stationary storage sectors.”
The MetalMiner Monthly Metal Outlook (MMO) report includes coverage of steel plate, which is included in the Renewables MMI basket of metals.