Many minerals are deemed "strategic" because they are in critical supply around the world.

Strategic Minerals (also know as Critical Minerals) is a broad-based category that constitutes various minerals and elements; the majority of which are minor metals. Geography and availability of domestic supply often defines which minerals are deemed “critical”  for any particular region or country.

On July 20, 2011, the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011.” Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings said, “Strategic and critical minerals are vital to our everyday lives. They are essential components of renewable energy, national defense equipment, medical devices, electronics, agricultural production and common household items. It is imperative that we identify the roadblocks to meeting our national minerals needs so that we can become less dependent on foreign supplies, increase our national security, and create more American jobs by securing our manufacturing industry and revitalizing our economy.”

While in Europe, the European Union issued a report on June 17th which identified 14 critical raw materials after evaluating 41 different minerals and metals. Raw materials were labelled “critical” if the risks for supply shortage and their impacts on the economy are higher in comparison with other raw materials.

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