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Press Release

Committee Examines Critical Mineral List and Criteria for Inclusion

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the methodology and structure of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) critical minerals list. Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) issued the following statement in response:

"The United States is blessed with an abundance of critical minerals that can power our 21st Century forward. Despite this vast mineral wealth, we have become overly reliant on foreign nations for these resources. In an attempt to address this concern, the U.S. Geological Survey put together a list of minerals they deem critical. However, many questions remain about what minerals are included in this list, and how effective it has been in reducing our nation’s dependency on nations like China and Russia. During today’s hearing, industry experts provided valuable insight on how we can improve this list and I thank them for their expertise. However, it is not enough to just recognize these minerals as critical - we need to put action behind this list. With that said, it is past time for the Biden Administration to permit the domestic production of these critical minerals so we can finally unleash the mineral wealth found across the United States, including the large copper-nickel deposit that is in my home state of Minnesota."


In December 2017, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for a national strategy and plan to support a domestic supply of minerals vital to the economic and national security of the United States. 

The Department of the Interior, through the USGS, published an initial list of 35 critical minerals in 2018. To be categorized as "critical," a mineral commodity must be: (1) a nonfuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic and national security of the United States, (2) produced from a supply chain that is vulnerable to disruption, and (3) serving an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have substantial consequences for the U.S. economy or national security.

Since its creation, there have been notable changes made to the USGS critical minerals list including a significant debate around uranium and other mineral commodities. Today's hearing included questions and conversations around changes under this administration and potential additions to the criteria for future lists of critical minerals. 

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