In March 2022, President Joseph Biden Jr. invoked the Defense Production Act with this presidential determination on the subject of critical mineral production and supply.
In the presidential determination, President Biden invokes section 303 of the Defense Production Act to secure a supply chain of critical minerals to support the clean energy transition. Specifically, the determination declares that meeting the requirements of a clean energy economy with a reliable and sustainable supply of these minerals is essential to the national defense. President Biden also determined that these minerals must be produced in an environmentally sustainable and responsible manner through responsible domestic mining and processing, recycling and reuse and recovery from secondary sources, such as waste byproduct collection.
While there is no specific list of minerals given in this presidential determination, the term that is used by president Biden is “strategic and critical minerals.” Examples include lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese. The scope of this presidential determination includes the production of large-capacity batteries for the automotive, e-mobility and stationary storage sectors. The determination is to be executed by projects to create, maintain, protect, expand or restore domestic production capabilities. The President accordingly directs the Secretary of Defense to:
- Support feasibility studies for mature mining, beneficiation and value-added processing projects
- Work on by-product and co-product production at existing mining, mine waste reclamation and other industrial facilities;
- Work on mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing modernisation to increase productivity, environmental sustainability, and workforce safety; and
- Implement other activities authorised under the DPA.