One Small Hearing for the Committee, One Giant Leap for the Critical Mineral Supply Chain
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing on mineral supply chains and the next space race. Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) issued the following statement in response:
"Today’s subcommittee hearing on mining in space is more important than some may realize. Our competitors, including China, are far ahead of us. Mining in space is coming and the United States better be prepared."
Minerals like copper, lithium, cobalt and dozens of others are integral to our modern way of life. They are used in almost all high-tech applications, including smartphones, satellites and missile defense systems. They are also essential for the function of renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles and battery storage. The global demand for minerals is expected to rise exponentially in the decades ahead.
Notably, according to the World Bank, mineral demand will increase by nearly 500 percent by 2050. The global demand for minerals specifically used in electric vehicle batteries such as lithium and graphite will increase by even more, up to 4,000 percent in the decades ahead.
Exponential growth in global mineral demand and China’s dominance of mineral supply chains threatens America’s national security and economic interests. While there is uncertainty over the feasibility of space mining, accelerating investments from our foreign adversaries, notably China, to extract minerals from celestial bodies exacerbates America’s fragile mineral supply chain.
America must take necessary steps to secure our mineral supply chains by leading in our position on both mining and territorial control over expanding resources beyond Earth's orbit. Today's hearing was a chance for committee members to hear from experts on the future of space mining and learn more about how this emerging field will change the future of our critical mineral supply chain.To learn more, click here.
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